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3 Things Interviewers Look for on a Resume


11/8/2011 5:05:20 PM

3 Things Interviewers Look For on a Resume By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

So you've landed an interview: congratulations! Now what? What areas will your interviewer be looking at on your resume and what questions will he or she ask? Understanding the 3 major areas of focus not only prepares you for the interview, but helps when it comes to tweaking a resume (in the event that the interview offers just aren't coming fast enough). They are:

1. How Good of a Fit is This Candidate?

The interview is going to end real fast if the interviewer can't easily pick out key skills within the resume. Your resume should contain all of the following:


- A brief opening paragraph DEMONSTRATING 3-4 skills in-line with the job you're targeting. For example, a candidate for a Drug Safety position could focus on his/her ability to successfully understand safety review practices, the processing and reporting of adverse events data in compliance with applicable FDA, and global regulation and guidelines. This approach immediately establishes your suitability for the position and allows an interviewer to ask targeted follow-up questions.

- A "Core Competencies" section listing all relevant keywords. Keywords can be identified through analyzing relevant job postings. Using the example above, standard words for a Senior Drug Safety Review candidate include: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) guidelines, drug safety surveillance, and Regulatory Compliance.

- A description of all pertinent jobs held within the past 10-15 years listing UNIQUE RESPONSIBILITIES. Look at this as an opportunity to lend context to those skills listed in the opening paragraph and "Core Competencies" section. Keep the language active and the ideas succinct: think in terms of providing just enough information for clarity.

2. Is There a Clear Career Progression?

Using a reverse chronological order, with jobs listed from most recent to least, is essential in terms of offering interviewers a clear look into your career. Place the greatest amount of emphasis on directly relevant positions. Non-relevant positions can be streamlined or simply mentioned in a brief 1-2 line "Career Note" summarizing it. Also, older positions (those beyond the past 10-15 years) should probably be consolidated within an "Additional Experience" section containing select highlights.

3. What Makes This Candidate Unique?

Quantifiable successes are the greatest asset a resume can possess. The best way to highlight them is to include a "Key Accomplishments" or similar section for every job within your work history listing successes (in bullets). Be specific when listing metrics, yet also don't be afraid to highlight soft skills as well if they're particularly pertinent.

About the Author

Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).

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