How do interviewers evaluate your resume?
Primary and most important purpose of the resume is to get a call for the interview. Most interviewers do not have a lot of time to go through the resumes, so they skim through it or search for keywords of their immediate interest.
For example, interviewer looking for Python programmers ignores Java projects in the resume and continues reading.
It does not mean that Java projects are less important to them. It means that they look for something that is of immediate interest to them.
Take-away: Highlight the key words as per the job description.
Good resumes are easy to read and clutter-free.
As interviewers look for keywords and phrases, they do not like cluttered page. It is harder to look for keywords on cluttered pages. Clutter confuses them.
The below resume is selected because it shows clear expertise in Python:
Programming languages: Java(1 year), Python(3 years)
When your resume passes the ‘skim test’, it gives you an opportunity to appear for an interview with the company.
Take-away: Remove the clutter from the resume.
Interviewers look for activities that lead to results in the resume. Listing activities tells them the nature of work done. Additionally, you need to add results or accomplishments from those activities.
For example, suppose a resume lists activities like: 3 years of Java experience, 2 years of Python experience and 1 year of PHP experience.
Contrast this with results from those activities: Fixed 72 high severity defects in fifteen months using Java skills.
Interviewer likes this resume quoting results because it tells the interviewer that you can get the same results if you are hired. Your resume says that you are not just any other programmer, but you applied your expertise to get results.
Take-away: Quote results in your resume.
Watch out for the exceptions in your resume.
First screening of the resumes is done by the recruiter. Recruiter looks for keywords like Python or Java experience as we continue with our example.
She looks for educational background and employment history. Recruiter matches the resume with the job description and hands them over to the interviewer.
Interviewer looks at the resume and checks for
- Gaps in the experience
- Gaps in education
- Non-relevant experience if any.
Interviewer lists down any of these discrepancies, so that they can be discussed at the time of interview.
Interviewers look for the number of job changes in recent history. Frequent job changes show that the person is not stable in any job.
Take-away: Be ready to explain the exceptions in the resume.
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