Many of us have seen an annotated example of a resume format a company is using as a filter to determine who to interview. Frequently that format conveys almost no information about the applicant. When viewing such a document, I am often tempted to add my notes to suggest the power that document could have had. By “power” I mean reflected value of the candidate’s ability to solve problems.
But even a powerful resume is, in the end, only a tool. And a useful tool is vital. But content will always be king—as long as the resume is used most effectively.
Folklore and corporate expediency would have us believe that all you need to do is apply online. While I recommend you follow corporate standards, if that’s the only element that you follow, don’t expect fantastic results.
Your goal is to place the document in front of the hiring decision maker. That can sometimes be done directly, sometimes indirectly. By indirectly, I mean through networking (a subject for another post). However, because that person makes the decision, if he never sees your resume, you stand no chance of getting the interview and, of course, the job.