A Simple Guide to Crafting a Resume that Sells - Did you know that employers, on average, spend between 2.5 and 10 seconds screening a resume? As an eager job seeker it’s terrifying to think of your entire career fate being determined that quickly. Don’t panic! There is an art to resume writing and when learned, it can open doors to landing interviews instead of the impossibly frustrating dead air of not being called back.
Before you begin writing your resume, ask yourself what three characteristics you offer an employer that best describe who you are. Then separate yourself. Think about it this way: Ten people with the same degree and very similar prior work experience as you, apply to the exact same job as you. The only thing that separates you is that you have a unique set of life experiences which will benefit the prospective employer more by choosing you over the rest of the applicants in your pool. Determine what yours are. Write them down. After a reader skims your resume in 10 seconds, you want the first impression of you to be exactly those qualities even without naming them. The key differences outlined below, between an ordinary resume and an extraordinary one, when implemented correctly, will be instrumental to getting you in the door at your dream opportunity.
Look for ways to illustrate your unique qualities by showing rather than telling.
If you have a strong work ethic, don’t waste space stating exactly that. Instead, highlight the fact that you worked 60–70 hours per week during your past position and how that time and those efforts benefited the company.
Write brief, vivid summaries of roles (jobs, projects, leadership, or personal accomplishments) in order to allow the reader to an entire overview that summarizes the detailed bullet points.
Your global summary statement might say “Hired, trained, managed group of 30 sales individuals for a start-up, e-commerce company that went from 0% profitability to exceeding top line revenue of $20 Million within 5 years of overseeing.”
Create bullet points that are accomplishments rather than a list of duties.
Numbers tell and stories sell them! Instead of saying “handled a high call volume; excelled at inside sales; helped company hit targets” — say “maintained 70% closing ratio on inbound call rate of 50–60 calls per day for a $2 Billion company; awarded top sales achievements over 30 other staff members 2 months in a row.”
Create an objective that summarizes exactly who you are and what you are looking for in 2 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, employersdo still read your objective but they will not take seriously an objective that is obvious, generic, and stale.
Avoid sweeping generalities such as: “Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.” Of course you are! Rather, say something much more specific like “Honors graduate of St John’s University’s Communications program seeking a position in training and development. Offering hands-on experience in classroom teaching, corporate training and communication research.”
Skip personal information at all costs to avoid potential elimination before being considered.
Stating that you are married with three kids might sound stable to you. To a hiring manager looking for someone to travel extensively, it may keep you from even being interviewed.
Keep your resume optimized by incorporating keywords resume that any keyword-scanning software will find what its looking for in you.
If you have extensive experience with various software programs, outline and name any relevant programs. Repeat the position that is being offered (account manager, customer service representative, payments specialist). If you dropped your resume into a cloud reader what key words would you want to be remembered by? Don’t discount application tracking software.Consider this: A resume that’s only slightly more effective than the one you have now could help you get a job weeks or even months faster than your old resume. Initially we asked you to dig inside and think about what summarizes who you are and what you’re looking for. Lastly, put yourself in the hiring departments place. Theres a position to be filled. Which candidates are most likely to be the best fit for the position? You, as the entrusted one to fill the vacancy do not have the luxury of a lot of time to complete the process. As you sort through the hundreds of resumes you’ve received, you’re looking for any reason to knock someone out of the running simply to narrow down your pipeline. You will spend only a few seconds scanning that resume before making the decision that impacts the fate of the candidate— to reject or to consider.Would you consider you?