If you’ve read through our articles are previous blog entries, or have even had your resume critiqued by a member of our crack team of Resume Analysts, you have probably heard us refer to The Reader as our primary audience. While we work for our clients’ benefits and we strive to produce documents that will win interviews for our clients, our clients are not the audience for whom we write. We write for The Reader.
Who is The Reader? The Reader is the person who will be making one of several different decisions. The Reader will either be the person who conducts the “weeding out process”. Remember, resumes are not INCLUDED but rather EXCLUDED based on the content as judged by The Reader. The Reader may be the hiring manager, a recruiter, or even an admin assistant at the exclusionary stage of the game (the first hurdle).
The Reader may also be the interviewer(s) who structure the interview questions based on what they see on the resume. While most candidates are asked basically the same questions, the interviewers base specific questions upon the resume and use that to expand the interview session. For example, the interviewer might say “I see here on your resume that you have had experience working with Microsoft. What do you think you learned there that you can add to our company as a benefit?”
The Reader may also be a network contact who would be passing your resume on to a contact within the company. If The Reader in this situation sees a bad resume, he or she won’t endanger his/her reputation by making a recommendation for you. You might be told by the network contact that your resume was passed on when in reality it was round-filed. (It’s easier to fib and pass the buck than to tell a friend or colleague that his/her resume stinks.)
Ultimately, The Reader is the person making the hiring decision. Not only does the resume have to pass the earlier crowds of Readers but must support the hiring decision for the most important Reader – the one who makes the decision to hire or not.
It is for The Reader, or the crowd of Readers, for whom we write. Sometimes, clients don’t understand this and question the strategy we’ve used to include or exclude certain information. We realize the client has no objectivity and no concept of what The Reader wants or needs to see on a resume. We know what the Reader is seeking, though. It’s our job to know what The Reader wants to see and what will sink the client with the Reader if it’s included on the resume. While that Eagle Scout honor is huge in the mind of the client, more than likely The Reader could care less about it. We know that so sometimes we have to remind clients that we don’t write for them. We write for The Reader.