Which Is Most Important In Your Resume – Content or Presentation?

“I’m well qualified. I have extensive experience. Why does no one ever call me for an interview?”

I’m hearing this a lot these days, but I saw it in action recently at a job fair. Employers and Recruitment Agencies go to job fairs looking for qualified people, and qualified people go to job fairs to find jobs, so it should be a great place to match them up – but that isn’t always the case.

I watched people at the booths talk to candidates with interest, receive their resumes, glance at them, and put them away for filing; I even talked to a few of them. “Yes, she’s a great candidate,” the interviewer would say, “Excellent experience, but I doubt if she’ll get a call.” More questions elicited the observation that her Resume would get lost in the pile.

Like many aspects of twenty-first century life job-hunting is increasingly about presentation. Perhaps this is why older candidates with substantial experience are being passed over. Their Resume’s list solid achievements and experience, but employers wonder if they have the verve and willingness to learn the new media so that they can contribute and compete. In a world of headlines, tweets, video blogs and other technologies that focus on the brief and startling, the conventional resume is at a disadvantage.

A friend of mine conducted an experiment for me. Chrystal had formal qualifications, some experience, and was doing well at her job, but was interested in moving on. We went to a job fair in Minneapolis with two versions of her resume – her original resume and a revamped version which she was worried was ‘too flashy’ and not informative enough – and she went around the booths talking to people, and passing out one version of her Resume. In each case the original version was well-received and politely set aside, but the new version received enthusiastic responses each time she handed it over, and ultimately each of the interview calls she received came from the new version.

You may think, with Chrystal, that an eye-grabbing resume might work for creative positions, but surely not for professions like accounting or management, but the reality seems to be that it does work.

What are some of the techniques that can make your resume stand out? Graphics, Testimonials, and highlighting skills rather than qualifications. If your old resume is not bringing in calls for an interview, why not try redesigning it to include some logos and quotes today?