Will Your Resume Land An Interview In 2 Minutes?

Could you walk into a room and land an interview in 60 seconds? Probably not, which is ironic, considering that's exactly what your resume needs to do.

Wondering how good your resume is? Let's step back and think about this from a ten thousand foot perspective. Is your resume compelling enough for someone to become interested in your candidacy in 60 seconds? Is it strong enough for the person reading it to continue reading after that 60 second glance? Will your resume cause someone to read through it for at least two minutes?

Let's hope so, because a recent survey shows your resume better grab the attention of the reader quickly; as in, under two minutes.

Did you know 70% of hiring managers spend less than five minutes reviewing a resume, and 48% spend less than two minutes? Two minutes! Think about that.

Two minutes isn't a lot of time to compel a hiring manager to request an interview with you. It also doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes on your resume. The survey also showed that if the hiring manager didn't see a connection in your experience and their needs quickly, within 60 seconds to be exact, then they simply move forward.

Is Your Resume Good Enough To Land An Interview Or Just Land In The Trash

When you think about how much time you put into creating your resume it's heartbreaking that you only have between 60 seconds and five minutes to wow someone. The job market is noisy,  and making a splash is hard. So how do you ensure you're able to take advantage of every opportunity to engage with a hiring manager? Focus on creating a perfect resume.

Perfection is hard to achieve in most cases, but it's imperative when you're talking about your resume. Take a hard look at your resume. Is your resume good enough to land an interview or is it headed to the trash? If you cannot answer this question with confidence, scan your resume  for some common mistakes:

  • Is your resume littered with errors? Think formatting, spelling, keyword optimization.
  • Are facts embellished beyond the basis of truth?
  • Are you stretching to fit into a career level you are not ready for and therefore unable to craft a compelling resume based on accomplishments?

These items are common resume errors and are easily noticed with a quick glance by a hiring manager. Considering that hiring managers are filtering through resumes at a high rate of high speed, any mistake on your resume, regardless of how minor, is likely a deal breaker.

Are You Embellishing Skills

In your quest for the perfect resume, you may have embellished your skills to ensure you're armed with a resume good enough to catch the eye of a hiring manager. If you're using this flawed strategy for your resume, be prepared for your plan to backfire.

Hiring managers are in tune with the demands of their industry, the responsibilities of various career levels and the natural career progression within their field. If your job title is Sales Professional, but you are touting high level management responsibilities on your resume, it will not align with the hiring managers expectations and they will move on to the next resume.

While you may believe it's necessary to embellish facts on your resume to get an edge, hiring managers don't concur. In fact, 42% of the hiring managers surveyed said they would consider a candidate who met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role. This finding further supports the notion that embellishing facts is not necessary and could likely hurt your chances of landing an interview.

Sloppy Formatting And Spelling Errors

Your professional background is important, but so is your resume design and format. Candidates place so much value on content,  that they often miss obvious errors in formatting. If you're not familiar with resume trends, you may be relying on dated formatting or content creation techniques.

Dated resumes don't perform as well as resumes that align with current market trends. It only takes a quick look to notice a sloppy resume with inconsistent bullets, fonts and spelling mistakes. Keep the following in mind as you build your resume:

  • Proofread your resume several times.
  • Make sure the font is consistent throughout.
  • Check for formatting consistency.
  • Double check any links on your resume to ensure they point to an accurate address.
  • Ensure your message is effectively marketing your professional brand.

The above items are typical resume mistakes hiring managers are bound to catch if you do not carefully scrutinize your resume. But, sometimes resume mistakes go beyond simple oversight and into thoughtlessness! To illustrate this, survey participants were asked to share real-life examples of resume mistakes and blunders they have seen. After reviewing the list, I'm betting you won’t duplicate these errors!

  • Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.
  • Applicant claimed to be fluent in two languages - one of which was pig Latin.
  • Applicant wrote “whorehouse” instead of “warehouse” when listing work history.
  • Applicant’s personal website linked to a porn site.
  • Applicant introduced himself [in the cover letter] by saying "Hey you."
  • Applicant vying for a customer service position gave “didn't like dealing with angry customers” as the reason for leaving her last job.
  • User name of applicant’s email address was “2poopy4mypants.”
  • Applicant claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner.
  • Applicant claimed to have worked in a jail when they were actually there serving time.
  • Applicant who claimed to be HVAC certified, later asked the hiring manager what “HVAC” meant.
  • Applicant explained they had  gotten fired “on accident.”
  • Applicant claimed to have attended a college that didn't exist.
  • Applicant for a position as a driver claimed to have 10 years of experience,  but had only held a driver’s license for four years.
  • Applicant listed an employer as a reference from whom they had embezzled money and had an arrest warrant out for the applicant.
  • Applicant’s stated job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously.

While a lot of these examples are so hilarious you can’t possibly imagine repeating them,  or even including them on a resume, hopefully this list is a good reminder of what not to do when job searching.

As you sit down to write your resume,  keep in mind you don't have an inordinate amount of time to impress the reader. Write focused, thoughtful accomplishment based content. Double check for accuracy and stay aligned with your professional brand. Just remember as you write…be brief, be bright and be gone! Oh, and always Be Amazing!

Trying To Figure Out Your Career? We Can Help

Our mission at ReResumeMe is to arm you with the best resume, career coaching and development tools you need to confidently drive your career progression. Whether you are interested in rocking the C-Suite or launching a job search, we make it simple and hassle free for you to reach your goals! Our custom-made resume and supporting career coaching programs will not only improve your confidence and position in the market, but will also improve your ability to land a higher salary and a better career opportunity. Whether it's coaching and mentoring, LinkedIn profile creation, a targeted resume or interview thank you note, our Industry Certified Resume Writers and Career Coaches know how to make you shine! If you have questions about our services or how we can help you, please compare our products here or reach out to our team and we’ll happily help you find your footing and make recommendations to help you get started with us.

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About The Author

Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe and AVP, Career Strategy at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. Leveraging more than 15 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna and her team are refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or the ReResumeMe team on Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!

*Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,532 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed) (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,532, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.95 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.