Did you know you have six seconds for your resume to impress your next employer?

The Perfect Resume | About Us

Melissa Peacock, the Founder of The Perfect Resume was once told 'you are too young to be an Executive, no-one will take you seriously'. With that comment, she was dedicated to changing people's mindsets, she studied about organisational culture, leadership and empowered people to achieve their dreams, by cultivating self-confidence, helping people to reflect and grow, and ultimately influence the way people see them. 

Melissa then realised that people have all the relevant skills and passion to land the job they want, but they were still not succeeding in being shortlisted for an interview. 

Backed with a Master in Public Health, and a Senior Manager who had personally read thousands of resumes and hired hundreds of people throughout her career, Melissa was no stranger to research and decided to research the psychology behind a Manager selecting a candidate to be shortlisted, or not shortlisted. 

She worked alongside her Human Resources Officer and found out what made her shortlist a candidate before the resume was passed to Melissa as a 'shortlisted candidate'. The process was as follows:

  1. The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scans the resumes, cover letters, and key selection criteria for keywords that get entered into the system, such as 'customer service', 'coordination', 'leadership', 'Microsoft Office' or specific software names, such as 'Carelink Plus'.
  2. If the resume doesn't have the keyword, the application automatically gets rejected, if the resume does have the keyword, it is given a measure of compatibility. (Out of 300 applications, only 50 were compatible.)
  3. The Human Resource Officer manually read over the remaining 50, and was overly critical, judgemental and sorted the 50 into yes or no piles. (This took 6 seconds for each application!)
  4. Out of 300 applications, 24 resumes were provided to Melissa to shortlist again. 
  5. Melissa spent more than 6 seconds reading each resume! She looked for attributes including team and culture fit, personality, personability, skills, experiences and value-added attributions the candidate to bring to the team, based on what was required in the role. The 24 applications were reduced to 12 and passed to either the person who would be the direct manager for the role or someone who would need to work with them, the applications were reduced to 8. 
  6. Eight people were interviewed for the position, out of 300 candidates! That is a 2.6% chance of being shortlisted for an interview! An objective outsider was generally on the interview panel to help way up the positives and negatives of each candidate.
  7. One person was offered the position. 

From end-to-end, the process took two weeks! 

Melissa was intrigued and dug through the rejected applicants, all 250 of them. She found hidden gems, highly skilled people who were passionate and would have been perfect for the role, however, their application was rejected by the ATS system because their resume was not formatted correctly! 

What are the reasons behind whether a candidate is shortlisted or rejected for an interview?

Practical reasons: 

  1. Resumes and cover letters were not formatted accurately for the ATS system to pick up the keywords required. 
  2. Candidates were clearly applying for mass jobs and not tailoring the resume and cover letter accordingly. They probably didn't even know what they were applying for! 
  3. Applications were scanned in and were blurry and hard to read. 
  4. An MS Word document instead of a PDF was attached and the formatting made the document impossible to read.
  5. The wrong file type was attached which was not supported by the system (e.g. graphic design software, one was an Excel document!!!)

Psychological (and often overly judgemental) reasons:

  1. If applications were boring to read, this reflected a boring personality. 
  2. If there were spelling or grammatical errors, this reflected low intelligence. 
  3. If the application was formatted incorrectly, or not tailored to the position, this reflected little attention to detail. 
  4. If there was a gap in career history, it was automatically assumed the candidate was fired and couldn't get another job, or was stressed and obviously crazy!!!!! Bizzare!!!!
  5. If the candidate's application was 10 pages long, it was assumed they talk too much in real life and it would drive the team crazy!
  6. If the candidate had more than ten years of career history, and detailed every single responsibility they had for jobs twenty years ago, they obviously were living in the past!
  7. If the candidate talked in the third person, they were obviously crazy! 
  8. If there was not enough information on the application they were boring, or not intelligent, or lacked self-confidence.

The list went on and on, and got crazier! Until there was a neat pile of "YES" candidates!

What did Melissa do next?

Melissa was determined to give the rejected people a chance. They had skills and experiences to succeed, families to feed, bills to pay, and every single one of them deserved happiness. She would have loved to be able to hire them all, but she couldn't, she only had one position available in her department budget. So she decided to open The Perfect Resume to help them create a resume, cover letter, key selection criteria, or LinkedIn profile, that would get their application to stand out, and be automatically added to the shortlist pile. 

Melissa also studied colour psychology and applies this to the resumes that The Perfect Resume now creates. 

If you have a job you really want, and look at your resume and think it could do with a facelift, simply purchase the tier that relates to your circumstance. Melissa or one of the team will personally get back to you, to start you on your journey! Start now by clicking here to view the Resume Writing Services.