Unless you know these insider tips, that is!
If you have been sending out your resume en masse and ending up with a massive headache instead – getting nowhere- you had better read on. . . Your career just might depend on it.
It’s a sad fact, but true. In today’s competitive marketplace, a job candidate has exactly 10-15 seconds to make an impression. Most employers / recruiters are very busy people, reviewing literally hundreds to thousands of resumes (don’t forget cover letters!) per day. Unless your resume is well-targeted, expertly and flawlessly written and composed, and demonstrates within the first few seconds of review you have what the employer needs, it will most likely be indexed in the circular file.
A Sophisticated Marketing Tool.
Another sad but true fact is that most people don’t have a clue what an employer wants to see in a resume, even when they think they do. Many people equate a resume with a simple job application. An employer wants to know what you did while on the job, right? Wrong! Well, partially. Most employers already know what you did on the job; after all, they are looking to hire you for that job, aren’t they? What an employer really wants to know is how you excelled at that job. While the employer generally wants a brief description of your responsibilities, they mostly want to know what your achievements were. How do / did you stand out among others who have held the same job? Did you make or save the employer money? Did you initiate any new processes or procedures that improved or streamlined operations? Etc. etc. Some people, realizing employers want both, still don’t know they have to separate the two to make the achievements stand out. Instead they lump them together. This is another common mistake job seekers make on their resumes. A typical employer or recruiter, normally a very busy person, simply does not have the time or patience to wade through lots of text to pick out your achievements. You have to boldly present them!
Objectives are Passé
Consider the following statement:Seeking an exciting career opportunity in Human Resources, Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising, Hospitality Tourism, Consulting, or Real Estate. Goal-oriented and success-driven. Willing to relocate. What have you just told the employer? You guessed it! Absolutely nothing!First, it doesn’t tell the employer what you can DO, it tells him what you WANT. At the risk of sounding cynical, most employers don’t really care what YOU want, they care what THEY want, and how you can help them achieve that objective. In other words, they are interested in THEIR objectives, not yours. Secondly, it is much too broad and includes too many fields and industries. Aside from making it look as though you are willing to accept just about anything you can get, it is completely unfocused and untargeted to any specific position or area of expertise. It is similar to applying to a law firm stating you are “seeking a position as an Associate Attorney, Paralegal, building inspector, floor plan administrator, secretary, receptionist, attendant, or bellhop. You get the idea…
Now compare the following statement: Internationally acclaimed and accomplished Software Engineer with advanced degree in mathematics, strong C++ programming skills and progressive experience developing popular new algorithm-based software architectures and technologies for global industry leaders. Authored numerous complex technical and scientific publications. Multilingual in English, French and Russian with expertise in cross-geographical team coordination to engineer effective solutions that drive company growth and technological innovation. Bingo! This candidate has captured the reader’s interest and passed the critical 10-15 second test. Now the employer is riveted and wants to know more. How has the candidate achieved this? First, by stating the intended position in the first line (Software Engineer), it is obvious that this is what the candidate is and does. There is nothing extraneous to remove focus. This is what is meant by “targeted” presentation. Second, this candidate has identified, in the first third of the document, three characteristics that support his candidacy, namely: ·
Targeted Skills and Credentials.
In this particular case, C++ programming skills, algorithm-based software creation, and an advanced mathematical degree make the grade. ·
Achievements / Accomplishments.
Publication of numerous technical and scientific commentaries distinguishes this candidate from the ordinary Joe; here is an accomplished professional who has stood out from his peers. ·
Special Value Offered.
Candidate’s internationally acclaimed and multilingual status, combined with expertise in cross-geographical team coordination and employment by global industry leaders, conveys his ability to deliver “more bang for the buck” than his job-seeking rivals.
Responsibilities vs. Achievements
Another great tip for creating an effective resume is to write a short job description paragraph underneath each company name and job title followed by a bulleted list of achievements, like so: Oversaw 20 service technicians and 3 field specialists, evaluating quality and performance through response times, callbacks, customer satisfaction surveys, and associated procedures. Planned and allocated budgets and manpower resources to promote cost-effective administration and workforce optimization. Administered P&L statements and accounts to assess company / service performance in line with corporate objectives. Conducted cost-benefit and related analyses and assessments to identify, evaluate, and select suitable vendors and suppliers to facilitate operations. ·
Established effective field follow-up review system to assess and enhance worker performance. · Reestablished field evaluations and inspections to monitor employee efficiency. ·
Leveraged outstanding public speaking and interpersonal skills to recruit and select quality workers to advance organizational objectives. Get the idea? Put a resume together utilizing these tips and soon the only stress you’ll have will be picking and choosing between job offers!
Karen Bartell is the President and Owner of Best-in-Class Resumes . She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with a law degree (J. D. ) and many years experience creating job-winning resumes, cover letters, bios and articles relating to employment. She has also written many successful high-end resumes for the job-bank Website, Monster.com.
Karen Bartell is the President and Owner of Best-in-Class Resumes. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with a law degree (J. D. ) and many years experience creating job-winning resumes, cover letters, bios and articles relating to employment. She has contributed articles to career sites including MetroNewYorkJobs.com, NewYorkJobNetwork.com, Resume-Resource.com, and many others. She has also written many successful high-end resumes for the job-bank Website, Monster.com.