Trash or Treasure: Where will your resume wind up?

“Reading a resume is a lot like meeting someone for the first time. If hiring managers cannot find reasons to trust and respect you, your resume will quickly land in the trash,” writes Brian de Haaff, CEO, Aha!

It seems there is a science behind making a good impression. A recent article cited Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research that shows people ask themselves two questions when they meet you:

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

At ONEOK, we receive hundreds of resumes each month. We know exactly the skills and characteristics we’re looking for and quickly weed out those that fall short. We want the right people with the right experience in the right jobs. But character also counts at ONEOK.

So before you submit a resume, de Haaff urges you to ask yourself:

Am I being considerate?
“Respect the hiring manager’s time, and they will respect you back. Show that you care by perfectly formatting your resume and avoiding typos. Include relevant work that mirrors the responsibilities found in the job description.

Are my goals clear?
“Hiring managers want to know that you take your career seriously and have direction. Make this clear with a results-driven resume. By highlighting major accomplishments, you show that you are focused on achievement. You are proving that you not only have goals but also that you work hard to realize them.” 

Is there too much jargon?
“Do not waste limited resume space on industry jargon or tired cliches. Your results should speak for themselves. So edit out the buzzy language and replace it with clear explanations of your duties and achievements in previous roles.”

Do I give credit?
“Acknowledge when you achieved results as part of a team. This signals that you are a considerate and reliable team player — the kind who can inspire both trust and respect.”

Am I telling the truth?
“An embellishment might land you an interview, but the goodwill will not last long. So be honest from the start to build trust. If you do not have the exact skills required, show that you are eager to learn.”

“Hiring managers are looking for people who are skilled and admirable. Show them that you are — that you can be both trusted and respected. If you do, you will likely make it to the next round,” says de Haaff.