In this column, Eli Garfinkel, owner of Placemint Agency in Lakewood, New Jersey, will be answering your questions about getting a first job, getting a new job, hiring great employees and more.
I am looking for work and haven’t been getting many interviews. I actually do very well in interviews but my resume is pretty basic. So, how important is a resume?
A resume is not only important—it’s crucial. I can’t stress that enough. In our fast-paced world, time is very limited, so a resume is what gets you in the door.
Sometimes, I meet very capable candidates with a lot of experience who feel, for some reason, that it is beneath their dignity to put together a resume. This is a big mistake.
No matter what level you’re at, if you are not willing to take the time and effort to putting your experience down on paper, it’s going to be very hard for you to get a job, especially if you are looking for a position that pays over $100,000.
Think about it. How do you expect to get an employer to believe that you are going to be able to do a good job for them and be willing to pay you serious money over the course of years if you can’t put together a professional resume? Think of your resume as your first opportunity to show an employer the quality of your work.
It’s worth every penny to get a top-of-the-line, high-quality resume. I feel that you should always pay money to someone who is a professional to write your resume and not write your own resume.
Maybe you don’t want to have a professional resume because you don’t want to brag about yourself. Don’t worry about that. People who write resumes for a living know the right ways to phrase things. They know what employers want to see in resumes, things that to most people might not seem logical to include.
But I feel I have a very professional resume and I still haven’t been able to get a job.
Some candidates have great resumes which get them in the door, but don’t do well in interviews and don’t have the skills to back up what they have written. If you make yourself sound like you know everything about everything and you don’t live up to those expectations, you are going to lose out. So it’s better to be honest about your skills.
So, when you say get a professional resume, do you mean I should use more high-level words and longer descriptions of my job experience?
No, that isn’t always a great idea. I see a lot of people using all kinds of fancy words in their resumes to make themselves sound more professional. Smart employers can see through all the “fluff” and are looking for writing that is real and clear. Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay a professional to write your resume for you.
I have had many different kinds of jobs and have a lot of experience doing a lot of different things. Can I put everything in one resume to increase my chances of getting a job?
No, I highly recommend you avoid doing this. Some people include tons of jobs they had, and too much information. I see resumes like this, and we recruiters don’t even know where to start. We don’t have the time to look through these kinds of resumes to figure out what the candidate is good at. Maybe this kind of strategy is good if you would like your resume to appear in keyword searches by potential employers. But, at the end of the day, it’s not the best idea. Better to get focused about what kind of job you want and make sure your resume only reflects relevant job experience and background. If you want, you can create different resumes for different kinds of jobs, but each one should be focused and should not contain any information that is irrelevant.
Eli Garfinkel owns Placemint Agency and has more than 15 years of experience placing candidates and working with various companies, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Eli is passionate about recruiting and takes time to listen to his clients to ensure employers find the right candidates and candidates find the right job.
To get in touch with Eli, email him at [email protected] or give him a call at (732) 278-6526.