"I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."”
-- Missouri Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver - 1899
I had an interesting exchange this week with a top-tier candidate. After an exceptionally strong telephone screening with her, I told her she was a great candidate for the position, but that I wanted her to make some tweaks to her resume. The position I was screening her for was a high level role that required some critical data analytics skills.
After confirming with her during the call that she had those skills, I pointed out that her resume didn't say anything about data analytics. I could hear her mouth drop open in shock from 300 miles away.
"What do you mean?" She said. "You simply cannot do this job without those data analysis skills! It's obvious!"
And THAT, my friends, is the point. What is obvious to you, the master of the universe of what it is you do, the Subject Matter Expert that the SME's from around the word seek out for advice, is NOT so obvious to the front-line HR folks reviewing your resume. And it definitely isn't obvious to the AI driven inky black hole that is the modern Applicant Tracking System that most companies use these days.
Never forget that these are the gatekeepers that keep your resume from getting to the Hiring Manager. And even then, it is my experience that most Hiring Managers are too busy and/or distracted to read between the lines.
If you don't say it, you don't have it. Period.
Let me illustrate my point with a story… I once had a Hiring Manager conduct a face to face interview with a candidate where they had a twenty minute conversation about a new skill set that he decided at the last minute should be required for the position. The candidate not only had the skill set, but trained that skill to others in one of his prior roles. When the hiring Manager decided to pass on the candidate, I asked him why. Guess what he said? The Candidate's resume didn’t say anything about the newly required skill set, so he didn't think the candidate had enough experience.
With unemployment at the lowest levels in over 15 years, and competition for jobs at an all-time high, the old rule about how you have less than 6 seconds to impress the person reading your resume rings all too true. Sure, there are great recruiters out there *cough, cough*, who are savvy enough to "pick up what you are putting down," but you make our ability to get you an interview infinitely harder because the Hiring Manager wants to see it on your resume.
Be proactive! Be informative! List it on your resume! SHOW ME!!