Why it’s About Quality Rather than Quantity When it comes to Resume

April 9, 2013

Submission by Nick Anderson

Finding employment is one of the key issues we face today. Most professional sectors seem to be hugely saturated and competition is generally fierce. With thousands of applicants vying for the same job, and the resume being the first opportunity to make any kind of impression, it becomes all the more important to focus on making the resume effective. To make your resume stand out from the crowd, it is important to know what recruiters look for when they skim through hundreds of resumes, what they like to see, and what they really don’t like to see.

The first thing that most recruiters agree on is that the best resumes are those which are relevant to the job role. A resume is like a pitch that you make to sell yourself for the particular job role. It should therefore be very relevant to the skills, experience and qualifications required for the job. It should be simple, precise, and yet communicate all the right information.

There is, therefore, no point including irrelevant information that has nothing to do with the job you may be applying for. For instance, would your experience working in a super market be relevant in a job application for the post of a surgical registrar in a hospital? It is safe to assume that it probably wouldn’t. So it’s important to make a call based on the job role. The more specific and relevant your resume, the better.

But this is where we come to the quality vs. quantity debate. Is it better to make as many applications as possible or focus on the most relevant job applications and spend more time tailoring your resume for each one of them? In these difficult times, can you afford to pick and choose, and spend your time working only on a handful of jobs?

The fact is that there are no clear answers to these questions. What may work for someone may not work for someone else, and after all, there are several other factors that come into play to form any concrete conclusion on the matter. What we have to work with is conjecture, but seeing as recruiters generally prefer specific resumes, it only seems sensible to focus on the more relevant job searches and to spend time and energy on making these more specific and exact than simply relying on quantity and volume to land you a job.

This means that it is useful to think about each job that seems relevant to your skills and qualifications, in order to assess whether you might be suitable for a job. This will help you understand how your resume can be tailored for the application. This will also mean having to think about why a company is hiring, and what exactly they want from the job role, and how best your qualifications, experience and skills can contribute to this need. A resume created after all this thought has gone into the process is far more likely to create an impression than a generic resume that you send to a dozen other such jobs.

As opposed to bombarding every job you see with a copy of your resume, a targeted approach might just help you find the most suitable match for your skills and interests.

The situation is bleak when it comes to jobs, and different strategies work for different people. Quantity may well work for some, but in general, it seems more effective to focus on quality rather than quantity and take a more targeted approach to job seeking

Nick Anderson is a writer for How2become.com/blog; a leading career and recruitment specialist. How2become currently offers over 150 different titles across a wide range of careers providing insider information to help you prepare effectively. You can also join How2become on Facebook

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