Make your resume look amazing with these five steps
Resumes are not dead, rather they have evolved over time to fulfill numerous needs during your career. The irony with resumes is that they can be your best friend in opening doors of interest from employers or close them shut if poorly designed.
Of all your marketing tools, your resume plays a significant part in highlighting your most important career achievements. Candidates who rush in at the last moment to write their resume by listing their titles and responsibilities really do themselves a disservice. Instead of creating attention from employers, their resume goes unnoticed floating in sea of countless others who basically used the same format of lists.
If you are tired of guessing where your resume landed, in the sea or hands of a hiring decision then it might be time to consider using these five steps. They will truly transform your resume and make your content look amazing.
Start by getting realistic with your resume, there is no way you can recite your entire career history. Trying to cram your lifetime of accomplishments on one or two pages is not a good strategy, in fact what you might think as important to employers could be just the opposite – a turn off with irrelevant information that misses the point.
Step one – Your resume must be noticed. To generate attention from recruiters/employers, it must contain key words relatable to the job description. Sending in a one-size fits all resume to every job opportunity is ineffective. Your resume will end up in a database and the only way out is to have keywords that match the job description; without them your resume will stay filed away.
Here’s the deal, most hiring managers will rank reading resumes as their least favorite activity. You try reading a dozen or so resumes and soon your eyes will glaze over with most of them looking the same.
Make it easy to be noticed, use key words that pertain to the job. Both applicant tracking software and people will take notice.
Step two – Focus, focus, focus. Stay focused on what the employer is looking for such as problems that appear in the job description and skills that are needed. Your resume will always shine when it captures the needs and requirements of a specific job.
Wandering off the subject and into the weeds of details with your past career experiences will overwhelm and loose the reader. Trading places with an employer helps you determine what would be important to them. What skills do you have that would benefit the employer? When looking at job descriptions, circle the areas that match your skills.
Step three – Job description review. Your best teacher during your job search can be the information received from searching job postings and reviewing job descriptions. Your research will benefit you in several ways, such as helping you recognize key skills and industry buzz words that appeal to most employers.
Your goal is to thoroughly understand what employers are looking for in candidates, the current trends that employers seek. Exploring job descriptions helps you write a resume that speaks to employers now rather than list a historical account of what you did way back when.
Step four – Identify the gaps. All employers have problems and the candidate who can best help solve them will get the job. Job postings are problems waiting to be solved, for example an open position is a need that is causing a problem.
Study the needs listed in the job description, read between the lines and you’ll discover what the employer is looking for. The information helps you choose specific accomplishments that highlight your problems solving abilities.
Step five – Think in terms of “Results”. Write your accomplishments where they show results. Even if your career focus is not in sales, talk about results. You can qualify or quantify your efforts to help demonstrate your value.
Listing your responsibilities are not results but rather tasks. For example, I hear from healthcare professionals who are not in sales and fall into the trap of listing duties. Duties do not generate attention but when your accomplishments are combined with results, they turn a mundane resume into one that generates attention.
I know it takes time and effort to write your resume but it’s a core document that will either open doors for you or close them. If you add these five steps to your resume, it will boost your chances of landing an interview.
In your opinion, what makes a good resume?
This article is reprinted by permission from