Jessica Holbrook over at Great Resumes Fast offers some smart resume advice that applies to most any job, any level:
Stop agonizing over how to write the best resume and take a moment to read over the following five key steps to creating a resume that hiring managers will remember. This isn’t a definitive list but will give you a great place to start on your way to resume superstardom (and that new career you’ve been dreaming about)!
Give Them Something Pretty To Look At
Crucial information that hiring managers need to make an informed decision needs to be easy to find. Don’t overcrowd the resume and cram too much on one page.
On the flip side, using one-inch margins will make your resume look more like a college term paper then a personal marketing document.
Stop Telling Them What You Want
Instead, share with them how you plan to meet their needs and the value you will bring to their organization. Many resume statements of objectives are extremely limited. How many have you read objectives like this one: “To obtain a position at XYZ corporation utilizing my ABC experience and education.” Bore them with that, and you will most certainly not get an interview.
What your resume really needs is a professional branding statement and focused career summary that clearly define the benefits the employer will receive when they hire you. Notice I chose “when”—not “if.” Confidence is key here.
Give Them The Good Stuff And Withhold The Mushy
Hard skills versus soft skills can make or break your resume. Very few careers are all soft-skill based — 99% of the workforce can brag about being in careers that are based on industry-specific terminology and keywords that can be piled up to the ceiling to describe your skills and expertise.
Use words that a recruiter would type into a search field to find you. Phrases like “great communicator” and “excellent verbal skills” will not ordinarily be used when they are performing a search on Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com — so don’t bother wasting the critical space on your resume listing them. Instead, use appropriate industry jargon: software engineer, database management, accounts receivable, outside sales, business-to-business sales, etc.
Pitch It To Them
Create a killer branding statement that encapsulates everything about you—maybe even in a really flashy way! (Hey, standing out is not a bad thing in this market; at least they’ll remember you.) Give them your best sales pitch, and show them why they should give you a chance.
“Wow” them with a great introductory statement and career summary that positions you as the coveted candidate of choice.
Won any awards? Are you an enterprising and creative leader? Draw them in with something unique that they don’t hear every day — and something that describes YOU! Something like: “Award-Winning and Top-Producing Sales Executive.”
First Impressions Last – Create Yours
You can control on your resume how you want to be perceived. Tailor it to the exact position you want; and if you’re applying to different types, then customization is the way to go. Emphasize on your resume the crucial points you’ve extracted from the job description. You are customizing your resume to the specific position you want. There is no better way to knock the recruiter over the head than with, “Hey, I’m the perfect candidate!”
Incorporate these key points into your resume and you’ll be well on your way to producing a resume they’ll remember—and hopefully a phone call … and an interview … and, well you get the idea.
By Jessica Holbrook, an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter.
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