There are so many components when it comes to finding a job – resumes, cover letters, social media networking, references, etc. While it’s important to be a well-rounded job seeker, wouldn’t it be great to know where to focus your energy? Does anyone actually read cover letters? What about the resume’s contents – which section matters most?
Perhaps new research released by Addison Group can help. The professional staffing agency’s annual workplace survey, which focuses on hiring managers’ preferences and attitudes pertaining to evaluating candidates, had some interesting findings.
Here’s what hiring managers had to say:
– Resume formatting 101. Over half of respondents said the most important parts of a resume are relevant work experience and skills. In other words, these two items hold the most weight when considering moving a candidate to the interview phase.
– Your college background isn’t as important as you’d think. While having an actual degree is often a job requirement, 40 percent of hiring managers chose GPA as the least important resume item, while 41 percent said which schools were attended mattered least. Sorry, all you academic overachievers.
– They really aren’t reading your letters. Only 18 percent classified cover letters as important, putting it far behind other factors like soft skills, references, and resumes. Ultimately, the biggest deciding factor in the hiring decision has nothing to do with paper or email – it’s the interview, said 74 percent of respondents.
– Who you work for matters. This one was a surprise — more than three quarters (77 percent) of hiring managers said that the reputation of your previous employers is an important determining factor of a candidate’s qualification for a particular role.
– Watch the buzzwords. You’ve been taught that strong action verbs are important on resumes, but here is some of the jargon that make hiring managers roll their eyes: 47 percent hate seeing “expert;” 40 percent loathe “synergistic;” and 31 percent can’t stand “innovative.”
– Who’s got your back? The survey found that professional references were almost as important as the resume itself, with 49 percent of respondents finding references important, compared to 56 percent who value resumes.
Looking for more strategies for getting the job? We’ve got you covered!