A Radical Résumé Edit to Get a Job Faster (opinion)


Why Doesn’t Anybody Else Do This?


Imagine being on the other side of a hiring process for a remote job, meaning the whole world can apply.

That means lot of applications, which seems awesome, but it’s not, because behind each application is a human seeking a basic necessity: purpose. Yet most of the résumés don’t do enough to convey that humanity.

You may think a fancy colored PDF might help, or great fonts. Those can be nice, but they might look thirsty.

For the person going through all the apps, an attractive PDF matters little.

The job search process on the hiring side can be as grueling as for those searching. I know a boss who gave up hiring as sifting through the giant slush pile of (mostly bad) résumés was just too annoying, not to mention the false-starts and ghostings that followed.

So, how to stand out?

The first thing that will make you stand out radically is simple: add your picture to the top left of the résumé (right by your name and contact info).

It doesn't matter if you think you're a good looking or not. Seeing a human face on a résumé adds a magic touch. It's like the hiring manager is finally looking at a real person, and not a PDF with an accomplishment listicle that seems strangely like everyone else's.

Look here on Newsbreak: the editors realize adding an author photo makes the article more “human.” Why would résumés be any different?

The risk: I've heard people warn not to put a picture on a résumé as it might seem arrogant, but that's ridiculous. Besides, anyone who gets annoyed by a picture sounds like someone who would also be annoying to work for, so time saved.

Far from arrogant, adding a picture is adding vulnerability, letting the person see what you look like, perhaps even trusting they won't discriminate against you because of how you look.

Back in 2020, I added a picture to a résumé and had two job offers pretty quickly. Before the picture: none.

A boss who hired me said he had over 100 applicants that he was going through (sounds familiar), so I can only guess that my picture helped me stand out.

The other thing you can do is to complete any kind of assessment tests. When helping a startup, we added a simple test where people can answer a few questions by voice. I'd say 1 out of 50 actually did it. And that 2 percent stood out tremendously.

A human voice, like a picture, adds humanity. Don’t worry about the quality of your voice, just be kind and professional and brief (leave them wanting more)

People want to feel like their interacting with people, not just a PDF file.

One heads up: Don't include less-than-cool work experience on your résumé. It would be better to have a gap than to put something that’s less than admirable.

Trust me, I've seen people with great qualifications add stupid jobs they had to do at times (we’ve all done them) but it's a waste of ink to add them. Even worse, it could foreshadow lack of filtering/editing skills.

And of course, nothing is foolproof: adding a picture or doing an assessment can actually decrease your odds of getting hired. But in those cases, it was meant to be.

On the flip side, if you know employers are getting hundreds of applications, it’s advisable to do whatever you can to stand out.

With inflation perhaps here to stay, the “Great Resignation” isn’t going to last much longer, so it’s a good time to be prepared.

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