Life-cycle of a resume part 4: Hiring Manager
After the ATS clears your resume and HR shortlists you, finally your resume reaches the eyes of your future boss, the Hiring Manager. Unlike the ATS or HR, the Hiring Manager studies your resume a bit more carefully. The most important thing to keep in mind here is this: Your hiring managers want to imagine you working for them.
Hiring managers want to understand how you can meet their needs and what benefits they will obtain by having you in their team. They will examine your accomplishments and experiences, and imagine how they could translate to the tasks you will be performing in their team.
Look at the top third of your resume. Would a stranger be able to picture who you are? Will they be able to understand where you have come from and where you want to be going? Humans form their first impressions very quickly and the top third of your resume forms their first impression of you in their mind. This first impression then determines how optimistic or pessimistic they feel as they continue to read the next sections.
A profile photo
I am an advocate of including a profile photo in your resume. This seems to be against the majority of the recommendations from recruiters, but I come from the point of view as a hiring manager.
A 2012 eye-tracking study showed that the recruiters spent 19% of their time on the LinkedIn profile picture. Thus a reader would likely spend a little more time on a resume with a profile photo than one without.
Many people are visually orientated and would absorb information more easily if they are able to attach the traits they read in the profile with a picture. Your potential hiring manager starts to visualize you in their team as they read your profile and imagine you work alongside his/her team.
Furthermore, a profile photo gives you the opportunity to present the best version of yourself. Cliché as it sounds, a picture paints a thousand words and it gives you to opportunity to show yourself at your best and most professional.