If you are like most people, the idea of writing, rewriting or even updating your resume may sound like a daunting task. Perhaps you already have a resume and wondering if it is working for you or even doing you justice. In this article we will discuss the five key secrets to what makes your resume successful. When I say successful, what I mean is callbacks for an interview.
Secret #1. Your resume is your personal marketing material, not a bare history of your employment. When most people write their resumes, they simply list places of employment, duties performed and dates. That makes an OK resume, but in my opinion, we can do much better than OK – we can make it extraordinary. Your resume is your opportunity to present yourself as a unique individual with excellent skills and abilities. So don’t just list your work history or what you have done in the past. Look at each position you held from the perspective of how can that experience have shaped you to be better at the job you are currently applying for.
Secret #2. Target and cater, stay relevant to the job. Think about what would be good for your new employer to know about your skills. What is relevant? Read the job description and requirements very carefully and if you see if there is something similar you have done in the past that demonstrates your abilities to meet those requirements. Don’t just say I am organized and have excellent people skills, give an example from the past that demonstrates your outstanding organizational and people skills.
Secret #3. Be brief and only share the creme of the crop. One of the biggest feedbacks I get from hiring managers when they review resumes is the fact that they are too long. Here is the fact about that – when people see long paragraphs, they don’t read them. Too much work and the readers attention span doesn’t want to take it. Try not to cram everything or list all the duties you performed at a given job. Only keep what’s relevant and important to the job you are applying for; watch out for repetitive statements.
Secret #4. Have a job title on your resume. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is not including the job title. You either assume the recruiter will figure it out by looking at the resume contents or worse, try to place you based on where they think you belong. That’s a lot of extra work for them and they are not always up for the task. Especially if they have tons of other resumes to read. Make sure you resume states clearly which job you are applying for and save your recruiter some time and effort.
Secret #5. Accomplishments, accomplishments, accomplishments. This is probably the biggest secret of them all. Being an employee, it’s hard to think of the work you’ve done as something that made a difference, but it did. If you replace every work duty you listed on your resume with an accomplishment statement, your resume will transform and become ten times more impressive than before.