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Talent Talk: Your Resume: The Critical 10 Seconds

Here is another exclusive employment column by Glen Esnard, the executive vice president and principal of 20-20 Foresight Executive Search.

In the real estate market, you can expect well over one hundred resumes to be submitted for every job posted on LinkedIn, Select Leaders and others. A recent COO position that was very geographic specific had over 125 submissions.

How do you stand out? How do you make the cut? How do you separate yourself from those who have submitted for dozens yet never received a call back?

The typical resume is sorted into a “not considered” or a “will consider” stack in six to ten seconds.

How do you stand out?

Clearly it is important to frame the resume and any cover letter for the particular position. But the operational question is how to compel the resume reader, in six to ten seconds, to read the rest of your resume.

Two guidelines are critical.

First, be clear about who you are and what you do. Do not expect executives or recruiters to connect the dots on your profile. “Services Sector COO” or “Medical Office Acquisition Officer” are good. “Seasoned Financial Services leader” is not. Neither is a resume that leads with the word “Summary”.

Second, get crisp and clear on your accomplishments. Aggregate your major career accomplishments early in the resume and make them pop. The great accomplishment that resides on page two or three may never be seen if it is not front and center.

I had a client a couple of years ago with an undergraduate degree in engineering from MIT and a masters in real estate development from Columbia University. That information resided at the bottom of page three in his resume. Consider how many potential employers may have sorted him as “not considered” completely unaware of his unique and compelling academic credentials?

Don’t let that happen to you!


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