As most job seekers know, hiring managers spend a very brief amount of time looking at individual resumes. But these days, with the job market so tight and companies struggling to find talent, hiring managers cannot afford to be so cavalier about sorting through applications. By taking more time to review a resume – even one that may be a bit thin — a hiring manager might see a person who would make a good employee.
Why a Resume Might Be Thin
Hiring managers need to keep in mind that a resume may be thin not because the candidate is weak, but rather confused about how to effectively craft a resume. There is a lot of advice out there from many different sources about how to put together a resume. It is not all consistent – some suggestions may contradict others. For example, some advise going longer than one page if warranted, while others adhere to the one-page limit. It becomes even more complicated when experts explain how to tailor resumes to applicant tracking systems.
With all of the information floating around, it can be confusing to job seekers, who, out of fear of making a mistake, may revert to a default position of making the resume as simple and direct as possible, cutting out useful information in the process.
When looking at a sketchy resume, there may be clues that there is more than meets the eye. Here are a few things to focus on:
- Job Titles
Check to see if the job titles are similar to the job you are trying to fill. This may indicate that the person has the requisite skills for the job.
If someone has worked for another company in your industry, they may have acquired knowledge and skills that you can use, even if the resume is short on details.
- Career Development
Do the job titles listed show that the person has progressed in his or her career, moving up the ladder to jobs with greater authority and responsibility? Job titles may show this even though there may be little else to go on.
- Dates of Employment
If a person has worked at a company for a number of years, this may show stability and that the person was good at his job.
This may also give clues as to the skill set a person has. Also, if there is overlap on the dates of a job and attendance at college, it shows that the person was working while going to school, which gives some indication of drive and persistence.
So, by looking a little more closely, you may find evidence that a person is qualified for a job, and worthy of further investigation, even though the resume is somewhat meager.