Monday, September 19, 2011
Top 8 Resume Writing Tips
# 2 ~ Sell Yourself! You must use your Introduction/Summary/Overview section at the start of your resume as your Marketing pitch. This is your moment to grab their attention by showcasing yourself as the solution to their "problem". Make sure you know what they need from an ideal candidate, and present yourself as having what they need - and more.
# 3 ~ Leave some space! There should be enough "white space" on your resume that it looks clean and easy to navigate. Your resume does not need to be a detailed history of your life and career. Think of it, instead, as a place to get them interested in you and as a tool to give inspiration during an interview. (You want them to be able to say: "Can you tell me more about this project. . .") Plus, overwhelming the reader with too much text, is a sure fire way to have them skip your resume, altogether!
# 4 ~ List experience back 10 years. Along the same lines as number three, above - to not overwhelm the reader, you need only go back ten years on your resume. If there is something you are especially proud of at the twelve year mark - by all means, include it. But, remember, unless the experience is directly related to the position you are seeking, listing anything farther back is not necessary.
# 5 ~ Use KEYWORDS! In an earlier post, we talked about keywords. The importance of using these cannot be stressed enough! Always review the job posting to find the words and phrases that your desired company uses to describe what they need. Once you identify these words, make sure they are listed in your resume EXACTLY as they are used in the job posting. For example: if they say: "Administrative Professional", and you usually say "Administrative Assistant" - change your resume to say it their way.
# 6 ~ My second favorite saying, after "Sell Yourself", has to be this: "BE QUANTIFIABLE"! This means: give numbers - such as: "managed 27 technicians", or "increased profits by 47%", or "saved organization $11 million over 5 years" The more you can relate your accomplishments to numbers they can quantify, the more they will be able to see YOUR value.
# 7 ~ References ARE required. However, do not list them on your resume! A small note at the bottom that says "references are available upon request" is sufficient.
*A side note on this - please be certain to inform the people that you have used as a reference, that you have done so. There is nothing worse than the hiring manager calling a reference and having the person on the other end of the line say: "Who? Oh, yeah, Um, I guess I remember them. Wow, I haven't thought of that person in years!" or worse - having them give you a poor review. So, choose the people you give as references carefully, and call each and every one of them ahead of time so that you KNOW what they are going to say about you.
# 8 ~ P R O O F R E A D!!!! Read your resume forward and backward a few times yourself. Then, ask at least two other people to do the same for you. The mind often sees what it thinks should be there - especially after reading, writing, and re-reading and re-writing something multiple times. And, when it comes to "Spell Check", we all know it does not catch mistakes that are words spelled correctly - even if it's the wrong word. (Check out the earlier "Resume Blunders" post!) Do yourself a favor and make proofreading a priority.