Valuable Resume Insight

Saddleback College in Mission Viejo recently released a great tool for Orange County college graduates and job seekers: the 2nd Annual Orange County Resume Survey.  I did not know there had been a 1st annual survey, but after reading the results I discovered there is some extremely valuable information in this report.  I provided some of the highlights below, but I recommend checking out the survey for yourself:

  • 88 firms responded to the survey, representing 40 industries throughout Orange County.  Some of the more prominent companies included UBS, Patriot Federal Credit Union, and State Farm Insurance.  I think a few additional well-know employers, such as Disney, Oakley, or one of the major accounting firms would make this survey even more valuable.  But Saddleback College cannot control who responds to the survey, so 88 participants is an impressive number.
  • 61% of firms receive up to 50 resumes for each open position they advertise.  This is less of a highlight and more my personal critique of poor word choice for this question.  By using the words “up to 50 resumes,” it’s impossible to tell whether respondents get 1 resume for each posting or they receive 30 or more resumes.  It makes this information a little ambiguous – I believe a better option is to offer respondents a range of choices (1-10 resumes per posting, 11-20 resumes, etc.) and they can choose the most accurate option.  In order for the survey to be as useful as possible, the information must be relayed clearly and directly or else job seekers won’t know how to utilize it.
  • Half the respondents report spending between 30 seconds and 1 minute reviewing each resume.  This is an extremely valuable piece of information.  It gives job seekers an idea of just how little time they have to appeal to the hiring manager reading the resume.  Therefore, resumes must be concise (1 page), direct, and highlight the skills the employer desires in a job candidate.  Your resume must pass that first, quick “eye test,” and if it does not contain information that will attract the hiring manager’s attention then it will be tossed out before you even get a chance to interview.
  • 96% of respondents consider the resume a job seeker’s “first interview.”  Pardon my cliché, but you only get one chance to make a first impression.  This information builds upon the previous point, and employers listed resume mistakes that will ruin that “first interview” immediately.  Hiring managers will toss out resumes containing spelling or grammar errors, and job seekers that cannot demonstrate how their skills address the employer’s needs will not be getting phone calls to schedule face-to-face interviews.
  • 86% of respondents label internships as a “must-have.”  This is especially true for recent graduates looking for a job.  Internships demonstrate work experience the employer may find valuable.  Plus, many firms have reduced training budgets during the difficult economy, and prefer candidates with relevant skills and knowledge that may require less training so that employee can start contributing right away once hired.
  • Respondents recommend posting resumes on the following sites: College/university career center, Monster.com, LinkedIn.com, and CareerBuilder.com.  This information serves as a helpful starting point for candidates looking for job postings.  I firmly believe one of the best ways to find a job is through networking, with family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and through social media.  But the conventional job applying strategies are valuable too, and these sites should serve as great starting points for job searches.

Saddleback College is providing a valuable tool to job seekers throughout Orange County.  With a few tweaks to some of the survey questions, I feel this is a fantastic inside-view of what hiring managers and employers expect from potential job candidates.  This information can help candidates craft an effective resume that makes a great first impression and helps them (with some hard work, too) earn an interview for their desired job!

Here’s an article that ties in nicely with this week’s post:

“Why You Should Job Hunt During the Holidays” – This article explains why the holiday season can be a great time to search for a job, and offers some helpful tips for making the most of your holiday job hunt.  Have you searched for jobs during the holiday season?  Where you successful during you holiday job hunt?

Also, on a personal note, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend this past week.  I spent my holiday with family and played a pretty exciting flag football game with my friends.  We posted some videos of the game, so check them out if you’re interested!

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