Over the years, I have reviewed and edited hundreds of resumes of job applicants and profiles of business consultants and executives. One common thing I have observed is that oftentimes, the resume does not highlight the skills and traits of the job applicant. As a result, recruiters do not see that he is the perfect match for the job; while in fact, he is. Thus, one should never underestimate the power of resumes. According to this article at indeed.com, a resume is an important tool for both the applicant and the employer. I always tell our clients to look at their resumes as their matchmaker.
How do you write powerful resumes that will land you your dream job? How can you make recruiters see that you are indeed the one that they are looking for? Here are four tips.
1. Customize your resume.
If you are applying for a position in human resources, but your resume is highlighting your background in operations, it would seem that you are not fit for the role. Thus, it is best to customize your resume. First, identify which of your skills and accomplishments would show that you are qualified for the position you are eyeing. Next, highlight these in your resume. If you were an operations supervisor in your last job, but you would like to make the big leap to HR, analyze your work experience. How were you able to manifest the skills and traits of an HR practitioner in spite of being in operations? For instance, how did you develop your people? Were you able to create employee development programs? By highlighting these in your resume, you would still be able to show that you have the potential to be an excellent HR practitioner.
2. Show and do not just tell.
When I review resumes, I always look for facts and figures because these facts and figures give employers a clearer picture of the applicants’ accomplishments. On the contrary, I usually see a long list of generic skills and traits in the resumes of job applicants who ask for my help. Therefore, I always remind our clients to show and not just to tell. Instead of simply saying that you were the top key account executive in your team, mention any award in the area of sales that you have won. You may also specify how much your team’s sales have increased because of your contributions. Remember not to divulge any confidential information about your previous employer. But at the same time, make sure that your resume is fact-based. In this way, it would be easier for you to prove that you have the skills and traits needed for the job.
3. Eliminate the unnecessary.
According to a study conducted by the Ladders in 2018, it only takes recruiters 7.4 seconds to screen a resume. Hence, before including a particular detail in your resume, ask yourself if it is necessary. If there is no compelling reason to include it, leave it out. I would like to emphasize that we should not withhold vital information from employers. But we should carefully discern what employers need to know so that they can make the right decision about hiring you. While all accomplishments should be celebrated, including so many details not related to the position you are applying for would not help recruiters see that you are perfect for the role. If you want to become a brand manager, is it still necessary to mention the beauty pageant you won in your college 12 years ago? Instead, why not mention the advertising campaigns you have launched?
4. Align your resume with your social media accounts.
Nowadays, after reviewing your resume, recruiters and employers can easily search for you online to make further research about you. Thus, in addition to crafting a powerful resume, consider the message that your social media accounts are sending about you. Think of these platforms as an extension of your resume. Also, aside from your resume, it would be helpful to work on your LinkedIn Account. You may ask for recommendations and publish articles and substantial posts here. Then, in your resume, you may include a link to your LinkedIn account. This will help you build your brand and tell employers more about you and what you can do. The bottom-line is your digital presence says so much about you. Do not neglect it. As you write a powerful resume, remember to manage your digital presence.
While writing is not enjoyable for many people, this is the first step you must take for you to be able to land your dream job. Write a resume packed with details that show you are the one employers are looking for. Turn it into a powerful bridge that would match you with your dream employer and job. And when you finally hear the words, “You’re hired,” you would be thankful to that matchmaker that is your one-page resume.
About the Writer
Maria Monica Prado, M.A. is an image consultant specializing in communication. In 2010, she established Communicare Training and Development, a communication learning program provider. She has developed and conducted classroom and online learning programs for thousands of individuals and many top corporations. Monica is also the author of the children’s books, How Lisa Learned to Listen and Skip! Skip! Skip! Currently, she hosts Life Talk, an inspirational online talk where she interviews thought leaders on personal growth topics.