The Ladders has made a great step forward for job seekers by creating the automated Résumé Review tool (located here: http://tinyurl.com/nul9hc9). As the above figure shows, the sections evaluated are : Length and Structure; Design; Contact Information; Professional Summary; Employment History; Education and Certification. Areas that pass the review are highlighted with a green icon while areas that should be augmented are highlighted with a red icon. Click on the appropriate icons and you get more information on what was good and what additional information may be necessary. Of course, the suggestions are based on the criteria defined by The Ladders.
The tool also assesses where you are in your career based on information (job titles, job description) on your résumé. I uploaded the last résumé I used for a contracting position, and was surprised to find that the tool underestimated my experience level and management experience.
The tool also suggested that I add quantitative information to some accomplishments (my résumé has always included that information when that data was available); however, some bulleted accomplishments don’t easily lend themselves to quantitative value or the data simply is not available.
The tool also suggested that I add “at least 4” bullets to the older (>12 years) positions but then it also suggested I shorten the length of my résumé (which was just over 2 pages in length). If I added 4 bullet list items to the older positions (and former professions that had no bearing on my current profession), my résumé would have easily exceeded 3 pages in length. There’s just no need to list that much information for older positions.
The tool doesn’t check for publications to your credit, foreign language abilities, patents or trademarks, and doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate reverse-chronological formats from functional or combination formats. For these reasons (and others I have written about in Strategic Career Engagement: The Definitive Guide for Getting Hired and Promoted and Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (Second Edition)), your particular résumé must address your unique expertise and value-add to get on the hiring manager’s short list.
It’s impossible for any automated tool to be a “one size fits all” solution. However, I have to give The Ladders Résumé Review tool a “thumbs up” as a good tool for ensuring that résumés contain the fundamental information hiring managers are looking for.