Resume and hiring trends can confuse even executives, especially when they are getting advice from multiple sources, and some information may contradict what others are saying. So what data can you depend on?
Career Directors International created a Global Hiring Trends report after surveying professionals worldwide for their insights and preferences, and brought context and relevance to the data contained therein.
Here are a few insights from that report regarding resumes and hiring that can help executives be more successful in job search.
1. What is the preference of executive resume length? 33% preferred 2-page resumes and thought they were sufficient length, while 37% reported that length was not an issue as long as the document included relevant information. The 1-page resume only received a vote of 6% of professionals surveyed.
2. Would you eliminate an executive candidate from consideration based on the resume length not meeting your preference? 58% of the people surveyed said ‘no,’ 21.5% said ‘maybe,’ and 5% said ‘yes.’ All agreed that page length was not as much of an issue for executives as long as the content showcased what the executive could do for the company through their achievements and experiences.
3. If a recruiter or hiring manager received a 1-page “brief” executive resume, but it was accompanied by stand-alone “success story” career summaries, how likely would they be to read them? The majority (59%) said they would likely read the success stories – so executives might want to consider adding examples of their skills and experience to capitalize on the opportunity to provide additional information. To be fair, 26% said they would not read additional material and didn’t have time to read multiple pieces of paper.
4. How often are smart phones and mobile devices used to review resumes? Don’t ignore the facts – resumes are reviewed on mobile devices every day! Statistics from 2012 show that at least 18%, which isn’t sizeable, but that number is growing daily. The question you need to ask yourself: “Is it worth ignoring the preferences of 18+% of hiring authorities and consider the merits of optimizing content for a smaller screen?”
5. What is the preferred format for receiving resumes? You may have guessed that Microsoft Word is still the preferred format for resumes, at least for 49% of those surveyed. The other half split their preferences with 23% wanting a PDF file and surprisingly, the other 26% stating that the format didn’t matter.
6. Would a recruiter or hiring professional review video resumes? Even with technology as advanced as we think it is today, only 13% of professionals surveyed said they would review a video resume as part of a candidate’s selection process. That’s a fairly small percentage, so it would be prudent to include all key information in a traditional resume in case the video presentation is not viewed. That being said, if you put the ‘maybes’ together with the 13% of ‘yeses’ you have a combined total of 33%, which might be enough to consider capitalizing on the power of multimedia as an adjunct to a traditional resume.
7. Do recruiters or hiring professionals “Google” or search other social media before deciding to interview a qualified candidate? 58% of people surveyed said they ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ check out candidates online before calling them for an interview. Be aware that your digital footprint is becoming more important and can impact your career positively or negatively.
8. If a recruiter or hiring professional sees negative information online, would that affect their decision to interview an executive or make a job offer? Well, 57% say that if they found negative information about a potential candidate they would commence further investigation or consider someone else. Only 5% say that negative online information would not affect their decision.
Emerging trends show that LinkedIn and other social site links are seen as favorable in resumes, while video resumes still seem too risky as a stand-alone submission.
Overall, it was noted that a powerful executive resume should focus primarily on meaningful, targeted content that is easy to grasp, while portraying a clear strategy and brand.