5 Resume Tips: Do What Most Job Seekers Don'tBy Heather Eagar
When it comes to writing a great resume, there are no hard and fast rules or specific formats that you should adhere to; however, your resume should be targeted to each specific job that you are applying to. In addition, it must be concise, clear, command attention and stand out from the pack.
Use a professional title for the position that you want. An improper job title will only serve to position you at a level far below the responsibility or salary level you are seeking to achieve. Including a job title can greatly increase the number of interview calls that you get for higher positions and improve your chances of clinching a higher salary – and when you start at a higher salary, your career growth is also accelerated.
Include an Executive Summary (what you can do for them) - Not an Objective (Me-focused)
An executive summary should be clear and well defined, consisting of a short paragraph or four to five bulleted points. It should focus on how your skills can benefit the employer, not on what the employer can do for you. Using action words will help to convey you as an intelligent and active individual capable of making contributions to accomplish company goals. Highlight your strengths and achievements clearly and quickly. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see information that is to the point, and hardly have time to dig for buried nuggets of information hidden in your resume.
Let’s state the obvious - your resume is targeted at landing interviews. In effect, you are advertising your capabilities and experience. Therefore, you need to provide precise, accurate and relevant information. Your resume should be able to convey relevant information, but at the same time, the resume should also convey a message that if the hiring manager buys this product (YOU) it will lead to positive and direct benefits in specific areas where their needs exist (the job).
When it comes to your resume, you can forget modesty. Brag if you have irrefutable proof that establishes you as an outstanding performer (notice I didn’t say exaggerate or lie). Give your resume an accomplishment-driven profile. Accomplishments are results you produce by resolving problems, or when you overcome a real or perceived obstacle. Mention any project that you spearheaded that served to heighten employee morale, revenues or company savings. Formulate 'Problem-Action-Result' (PAR) statements to convey your ability for producing similar or better results in your future employment.
Highlight Achievements - NOT Responsibilities
Although important, listing responsibilities should not form the focus of your resume. Responsibilities are passive - achievements project you as an active, dynamic individual. When you are seeking a higher position, your achievements rather than your responsibilities acquire crucial importance – so don’t clump the two together. Write a paragraph giving an overview of your responsibilities and then highlight your achievements with bullets. When you want to sell something, you must make it stand out.
Having a well-written resume is crucial when it comes to getting interview calls. Following the 5 tips above will ensure that you maximize your chances.