…your company and titles on your resume

Okay, so this is going sound very mundane to some of you and it’s probably rather so that I even have to bring it up. But the unfortunate thing is that many people’s titles don’t reflect what their company does or what they do on their resume. Just because you know what your company does doesn’t mean that other people do. I can’t tell you the number of resumes I get with the names of the companies that the person has worked for with absolutely no explanation at all of what the company’s business is. And regarding position titles, one company’s VP of sales is another company’s sales person. Another company’s director is another company’s board member.

Why are these important? Well, I keep having to remind people that your resume is not really “read.” Your resume is scanned… this is especially true if it’s read on the screen. Psychologists tell us that when people “read” things on a computer screen, their eyes go to the middle of the page moved to the left margin and then go up then they scan down the page. They pick out words… names of companies, titles, etc. If They don’t recognize them and they are not explained, is just as easy for the reader of the resume to move on to the other 179 resumes(The average number of resumes that are received for each job posted is 180).

On top of this, 60% of the people that have initially look at your resume don’t have any real idea of what the job is you are applying for. Much of the time “screeners” in the HR department or even some administrative person in another department will be told to, “review those resumes and bring to me the ones that ‘look’ to have the kind of experience we are looking for.” Some of these resume screeners know what they’re looking for and some don’t. In most companies, they don’t. They are told to look for certain keywords or attributes or experience that they have no real understanding of. The interviewing or hiring authorities who instructed them to perform this function have no idea what kind of resumes these screeners will pass up. (The way that I know this is, I can’t tell you the number of people we have actually placed with companies whose resume was sent to the company by the candidate or by another recruiter and passed over until we got them the interview.)

So, make sure that right next to the name of the company you’re working for you give a short simple explanation of exactly what they do. Don’t assume that other people know what your company does. Explain it to them. If you work for a big company that has hordes of departments and hordes of people, right after the name of the company identify the division or the department that you work for and what that division or Department sspecifically does. And, be sure to do that in terms most anyone can understand.

Regarding your title, even if your company gives you some kind of cockamamie title like “#1 Customer Experience Advocate” and your job is customer service, change your title to “Customer Service.” If your title is “Vice President of the Western World” but the function of your job is sales, change your title to “Sales.” I know this sounds a bit facetious, but people who read resumes, or should I say, scan resumes will look at a title and make a judgment about what you do and if it isn’t really clear what your function is by your title, they may pass you over without even thinking about it or reading what you do.

I happen to place sales in all level of sales managers in high tech. I’ve interviewed numbers of sales people whose title was “account manager.” An account manager to most people means that the person is simply “managing” an account. It communicates that the person is a “Farmer” rather than a “Hunter.” So, even if the candidate was the most aggressive, straight commission salesperson that ever existed, it is likely that his or her resume wouldn’t get read.

So, make it really clear on your resume what your company does and what you do or have done in the company. Make sure that someone totally unfamiliar with any of these things could read your resume and understand everything they need to know about you.

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