Here are some of the elements of a “failed” resume that stand out:
- Your resume says how terrific you are, but without defining measurable achievements
- You use self-promoting words like: “Multi-skilled leader”, “Cutting edge problem solver”, “Turn-around expert”, or other useless and hyped-up words of self-adulation
- You list all your responsibilities and skills without a whisper about actual results. You’re trying to sell your wares without a warrantee of quality.
Listen up. The objective of the resume is to get an interview. Once hiring managers read your resume, you want them to say, “Wow! This person has the results that I’m looking for. I need to interview this person as a candidate”.
Your resume needs to be compelling. Here are the qualities you want to explore:
- Put a professional designation right after your name. In this way you communicate your level of mastery: MBA, EE, CPA, CFA, or other industry or functional credentials
- Within the first 10 to 15 seconds of an initial scan, the hiring manager should see a Summary of Professional Resultsat the top half of the first page and instantly become interested in you. Put it up front!
- Summarize your major career accomplishments that match the position description’s top five responsibilities. If the job requirement says, “5 years of progressive accounting”, have your resume state, “$2.5 million savings over 5 years through progressive accounting systems”.
- In your job history section, explain the ways you accomplished these results
- Your Objective tells the hiring manager you have what it takes to get the results that the organization needs, like: “To generate revenue and profit for a high performance organization through marketing management, both traditional and digital”
- In your job history, parallel your results to the top 5 requirements on the job description. Spend less space with non-essential responsibilities and more space on matching duties and results.
- Spend the most content on your accomplishments and results and much less content on the duties of prior jobs. The hiring manager is most interested in outcomes not activities.
- Give solid examples of achievements. Rather than saying, “Increased the efficiency of the accounting department” say, “10% productivity improvement by installing interactive systems with operating departments”.
- Put your education, special skills, awards and technology expertise after your job history. If you place it first, the hiring manager may never get to your key achievements.
All of these tips force the hiring manager to ask questions like, “How did you accomplish that? How long did it take to implement? What systems did you use?” When these questions are asked, you know you have a high-level of interest from the hiring manager in your candidacy and will want to interview you.
Never forget: The resume is not about your life’s history or career. It’s about showing the hiring manager that your experiences and results are what they are looking for, and you are their best candidate, worthy of a personal interview.
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