Three and quick and easy ways to improve your resume that should get you the job search results that you’re looking for.
A proper resume that will grab the reviewer’s attention is not a biography of your life or work history. Nor does it have to be full of details hoping that one disjointed fact will catapult you to the top of the resume pile.
What it has to do in a few seconds is hold the interest of the reader and motive them to put your resume in the “to call” stack. Clarity and focus is what your resume needs and here are three quick and easy resume tips to make that happen and enhance your results.
1. Have a clear job or career objective:
This is not the easiest thing to write, it requires some thought and it may have to be modified depending on the position being applied for.
Your résumé’s opening should clearly establish with no extra verbiage who you are and why they should consider you for the position. You’ve heard about the 20 second elevator speech and a businesses unique selling proposition (USP). Both are designed to quickly tell the listener or reader what value you bring to the position (or to the service or product) and why they should buy.
Your personal USP should, in at most two or three short sentences demonstrate what you career or job objective is and why you should be considered for the position.
How you stand out and what makes you unique is the essence of a well written career objective. Anything you say that might sound great but can’t be proved; delete it from the job objective. Terms like, “great presentation skills,” or “results-driven,” or “motivated,” or “professional,” ban them from your USP. Your job objective should be concise, focused and without a doubt state why you would stand out and be a good fit for the job.
2. Make the resume consistent and easy to read:
A friend who was an HR executive with over 15 years HR experience was applying for a job which required heavy labor relations experience. Although in each of his four previous jobs this activity never took up more than 30% of his time, he rewrote his resume to emphasize in each position his labor relations accomplishments. His resume was consistent from beginning to end and he got called in for an interview.
Making the resume easy to read is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, you should have plenty of white space, bullet points and short sentences. Print your resume out and place the page on the floor. Is the font readable? If not try, another font like arial or verdana. Are the text and paragraphs too long? Edit and break them up to make it more readable.
Stay with the theme emphasized in the job objective and you will guide the reader easily through the document. Remember the resume should clearly establish what did you do and what were the results. No more and no less. If it take two pages, that’s fine and on rare occasions perhaps three pages for very senior positions.
3. Shamelessly use testimonials.
Let’s say the job you are applying for needs someone who is a proven cost cutter. Nothing could be better than pointing out in your resume or cover letter, “Recognized in chairman’s annual report letter on cutting costs in previous year by over $600,000.” Wow, this should get the attention of the reader.
This will quickly prove your value in this important job related qualification.
Accolades like this next example for an employer looking for someone with strong leadership skills managing a number of remote locations, “Strongly motivated a disparate group of managers to move his district from last to first in a surprising short period of time.” Then list that the comment was made by the VP Operations.
These three quick upgrades to your resume should start getting you the results you want and motivate the reader to positively answer the all important question, “Should I call this applicant?”
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