Most job seekers believe that your resumé is the ticket to winning a job offer. This belief is far from the truth. The resumé will not matter to a hiring manager if your personality does not shine through to secure an interview. First impression is everything, and your resumé is the deal breaker between quickly securing interviews with hiring managers and your resumé tossed in the "No" folder, losing interviews to another person.
Help the hiring manager develop a positive impression of you through utilizing the steps below to grab their attention from the beginning to the end, influencing readers to have your phone ringing off the hook.
Center your name, postal address, and contact information at the top of the page to make sure the reader reaches you if they express interest in setting up a meeting with you.
Headlines are essential for resume writing. It is the first opportunity to catch the hiring manager's attention and spark their interest in your background. Use the imperative voice in your headline, a grammatical mood that expresses a call to action that influences the reader's behavior.
Here are some examples:
– Senior Programmer – Java / J2EE CPA – Accountant / Financial Analyst PR Specialist – PRSA
Create a bulleted list of key areas of knowledge, skills, and abilities. It reinforces exactly what your headline suggests about your background. This paragraph usually includes years of experience or knowledge in your respective discipline, soft skills, and technical abilities. You have exactly 10 seconds to impress the reader before they continue skimming your resumé. It would look something like this:
Results-oriented, detailed professional with comprehensive accounting experience. Background includes consistent promotions to positions of increased responsibility. Skilled in P&L, audits, taxation, internal controls, and streamlining rules, effecting a monthly savings of $ 2,500 at XYZ Company. Recently passed the CPA exam; Seeking a Controller position.
Most employers are curious about a candidate's last ten years of employment history. In the interview, they will ask about three positions which you have recently worked. If you held a job for more than three years with the same employer, write down the name of employer and the start and end date of employment as it shows loyalty and longevity of a candidate. If you have worked somewhere less than a year, leave the job off your resumé as it raises a red flag as a job-hopping candidate.
Recruiters like action-oriented statements and not task-oriented sentences. Utilize action verbs such as created, designed, coordinated among others to excite the reader and engage the reader into your professional life experiences.
Accomplishments are the most important aspect of your resumé. Hiring managers have one job to fill and ten candidates want the job badly. List accomplishments that corresponds to each job that separates you from qualified candidates. It is the love and passion that made you special and unique to each job you have ever worked. Ensure that you quantify each accomplishment to have the most effect on the reader's behavior.
Examples of accomplishments include:
– Achieved a $ 2,500 monthly savings for XYZ Company within three months of employment by streamlining rules.
Job seekers make the mistake of adding their special skills at the end of the resumé; and it is one of the first challenges faced in reviewing resumes. Your unique skills should always be presented upfront and close to your work history so that readers can know what you can do. Create a bulleted list of special skills including: computer proficiency, office procedures, equipment, or machinery, linguistic skills, translation abilities, and industry-specific job skills.
Readers will pay attention to your management skills by how you prioritize your education data on your resumé. Before you list your education, you need to step back and assess your unique situation by asking the following question:
What is your current career level?
If your answer is that you are an entry-level candidate with less than a year of experience, list your education immediately after your Summary Statement. The rationale behind this placement is that your education is your most marketable asset at this point in your life. You would include a GPA that is 3.5 or higher, awards and scholarships, dean's list, and coursework relevant to your job search.
If your answer is that you are career professional with more than 3 years of experience, list your education immediately after your work history. Unless you are applying for graduate school, your awards and scholarships, dean's list, and GPA is irrelevant to your professional or executive resume.
Once you have determined your unique situation, include degrees, certifications, and licenses relevant to your career. Hiring managers look at your degree or certification program and not the institution you attended so make sure the degree that you obtained is above the institution's name.
Note: If you are currently attending school, omit the program graduation completion dates to avoid the risk of age discrimination and your resumé weeded out in the early stages of the interview appointment setting process.
By the time that hiring managers get to the end of your resumé, they want to make sure that you are serious about the industry or profession, and actively involved with your professional community and in professional development. Include information on professional affiliations or organizations you work with, memberships, and professional industry awards you may have received. Search for keywords commonly used in job descriptions related to your profession or industry, or words that are not found elsewhere on your resumé but found in job postings. It will benefit your resumé greatly when your resumé is found by recruiters in candidate database searches.
The key to a hiring manager's heart is a targeted, clear, and comprehensive idea of what you want to do in your professional world to maximize the impact of your resumé. Express what you love to do in writing to have readers begging to chat with you about your amazing life to get the job you want!