Lack of Targeted Resume Focus is an Elimination Factor


How do hiring managers whittle down a stack of resumes? One way is to eliminate candidates based on what Sharon Graham of Graham Management Group calls “elimination factors.” Over several days, we’ll be looking at the five elimination factors Graham cites (read a version of her article here). The information comes from a research study to evaluate 1,000 randomly selected résumés received in 2009, which Graham Management Group, a Canadian firm specializing in career transition strategy for six-figure professionals, recently performed. Today, lack of targeted focus as an elimination factor:
It is apparent that many job seekers do not understand that the résumé must clearly identify the type of position or role being targeted. In fact, the study identified that 29 percent of all résumés analyzed did not reveal a clear job target at all.
This elimination factor is a foundational principal that influences the rest of the content of the résumé. The purpose of your résumé is to show how he or she can meet the specific needs of the target market. If a candidate does not have a clear career goal in mind, it is impossible to express that individual’s value as it pertains to the role. It is therefore imperative to understand that a “general résumé” simply will not work in any situation that asks for an experienced professional. The career target must be addressed in the résumé for the screener to quickly determine that your client might be a good fit. Only when you determine a focus can you hone in on the needs of the role. Then, you will be able to rationally discuss and strategically extrapolate value that addresses those needs.