The “thumb test” is a trick professional resume writers use to test whether a person’s resume is likely to be flagged by HR. Here’ the jist: Pick up your resume like you are about to read it. Most likely your thumb and forefinger are about 2-3 inches down from the top of the page. HR recruiters spend about 3-7 seconds reading this section and in those precious moments decide whether they’ll keep your resume or toss it.
Let’s look at your resume. What’s in your top 3 inches?
Hopefully your name and contact info are up there. But hopefully the director of HR at that company you’re trying to break into isn’t reading this:
“Objective: To obtain a supervisory situation wherein which I can add to the expansion and advancement of an established corporation.”
What’s wrong with this? A few things.
1. I just don’t like objectives to begin with. Unless you’re looking for something REALLY specific, skip it. We’re all looking for jobs with “potential for growth” in “successful organizations.” Try writing a profile instead. A profile is a summary of who you are as a professional. For example,
Intellectual Property Insurance Claims Specialist with 10+ years experience including: investigating, evaluating and settling claims with Fortune 500 corporations, conferring with legal counsel on claims requiring litigation, and effecting fair and timely disposal of cases to contribute to a reduced loss ratio. Bilingual in English and French.
Boom. This guy deals with insurance claims and it sounds like he knows what he’s doing – and it sounds like exactly what I’m looking for (in this example pretend I’m the recruiter for an insurance company)And he’s bilingual! Let’s look at his experience, I might want to give him a call. (See?)
2. There’s nothing in there that tells the reader anything about you, what you do, or what kind of job you want (except you want to be a boss at a big company that’s not about to file for bankruptcy). Don’t make them work to find that information – because they won’t. There are plenty of other resumes in their huge pile that are easier to read.
So there’s the thumb test. How does your resume hold up? Leave a comment with your “profile” or “objective” for feedback!