Your resume is your ticket to a job interview. Like any good marketing piece, your resume should motivate someone to want to reach out and learn more about you. Highlight what you have to offer based upon what you have accomplished and be sure it’s easy to read, full of captivating details, and that it rouses the reader to want to meet you to learn more. Following are some suggestions on how to make your resume shine.
Confidently express your accomplishments, without overly bragging and gloating. Identify the role you placed on group projects and own the credit you deserve. This isn’t the time to be overly humble. Instill confidence in the reader that you have the skills and knowledge to perform the duties of the job that they’re looking to fill.
The biggest area for improvement I consistently see on most resumes are lists of job duties instead of accomplishments. Frame your duties in terms of what you did in that role that someone else wouldn’t necessarily have done. How did you initiate action, save money, increase sales, and what were the results.
Many organizations use software programs to scan resumes for keywords. Whether in a separate skill section, or scattered throughout the document, be sure the relevant keywords are there for your industry and role. If your resume lacks the right keywords, it could be overlooked and never even make it in front of a hiring manager or HR representative. Review the job ad to get an idea of keywords the organization may be using.
Talk about awards, volunteerism, and continuing education. There are many areas that may not seem relevant, but the experience you gained from running the PTA, may be more useful than you realize.
If you’re concerned about the impact your resume is creating, have a professional review it. There are a myriad of paid services as well as many who offer free consultants.
A three page resume is fine if you’re experience warrants it. Even a 4 or 5 page resume may be perfectly appropriate for someone at a VP level. Everyone reads resumes online, pushing paper is a thing of the past and no one counts pages as they scroll through online documents.
As you share those accomplishments, go into details and share data. What was the ROI on that project? By what percentage did you increase sales, cut budgets, increase service call times? What are the metrics relevant to your job and share them?
If you’ve had a lengthy career, only go back to the most relevant job. Perhaps that’s when you started as a financial analyst, not your internship. As a seasoned professional, share the last 10-15 years of your career. If you’re new to the workforce, make sure to list all of your internships and college jobs.
While volunteerism may be important to share with a future employer, your hobbies such as skiing and needlecraft, are not. Keep the hobbies off the resume, unless they have a work aspect to them, such as the treasurer for the local sailing club.
Don’t write your resume so devoid of personality that the reader is left wondering what you might be like. Share what your passionate about, that you’re analytical, entrepreneurial, socially conscious. Maybe you love the pace of a start-up or thrive in the structure of a Fortune 500. Whatever you can share helps make you stand out as a person, and not just another file in the computer.
Remember, the resume is merely your ticket to an interview. Keep it easy to read, packed full of great details about your background and relevant information about what you bring to a workplace, and then put your energy on networking and landing the interview.
More expert advice about Finding a New Job
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