Most job seekers know that the resume format and job search process have changed dramatically over the last few years. To land your ideal career in 2017, you need to know and apply the following in order to attract recruiters and influence hiring managers to determine that you are the most qualified candidate.
Savvy job hunters know that an Objective statement is so last century. It not only is dated but may harm your search because the focus of objectives are on you and employers want to hear what you can do for them. Summary statements, similar to the elevator pitch, is a tweet-like reader’s digest version of your resume to describe your expertise and showcase your strongest accomplishments. It is like the book jacket description to entice the reader to continue to read the remainder of your resume. If you are a professional, leader or executive, the more critical your summary is as it defines and describes your super strengths and achievements. A strong summary can either make or break your search because a poor summary may result in the remainder of your resume not being read, being sent to the reject list. It is critical to be as specific as possible and avoid the overused and tired adjectives such as “successful”. Further, words such as “seasoned and energetic” are clues that you may be an older applicant and invite ageism. It is much more effective to use real examples of your work and results to convince the reader that you are qualified.
SHOW; DON’T TELL
What are you most proud of?
Choose those achievements and contributions you have made to companies and organizations which are most relevant to the position advertised. The more metrics, percentages, dollar signs and other measures of success, the better.
- For what have you been praised by your manager?
- What results were highlighted in your performance evaluation?
- For what have you received accolades or positive feedback from clients, customers and/or colleagues?
The more metrics you can infuse into the resume, the better.
- How have you contributed to the company revenue goals?
- Is there a process you improved?
- Are you known to have developed a new program or process?
- Have you increased business by additional leads or clients?
Having trouble identifying your accomplishments? Ask your manager, colleagues or customers what they think you do best? If keeping your job search private, you can simply preface the question with a statement telling them you are interested in growing, learning and becoming better in your current role.
Assessments and work style inventories are designed to identify your “super powers” – critical to know if you are going to sell yourself in the resume, LinkedIn profile and in the interview. Recall the interview questions, “Tell me a bit about yourself” and “What are your strengths”? Are you able to provide a compelling and authentic response? If the answer is “no”, you may want to work with a career consultant or career coach.
How do you read Websites?
Since you are familiar with websites, you realize that you don’t actually read every word but you scan so write your resume with that in mind. Websites which are dense with narrative are fatiguing and the same is true of resumes. Use sufficient white space, bullets vs. long paragraphs – anything to help your reader read your resume. Since most recruiters scan hundreds of resumes per day, they will appreciate an easy to read resume – one which is visually interesting yet shares your most valued information with them. Once finished, go through your resume and circle the most important words or phrases. Are they the ones you find in the job posting? If so, you nailed it!
Consistency is Critical
Your resume is only one part of your job search strategy, albeit an important one. Ensure that the resume looks, feels and sounds similar to the LinkedIn profile and cover letter. Does it have the same focus, emphasis and “voice”? A recruiter can easily spot discrepancies and it harms the overall professional impression you are trying to make. Take a lesson from a recent client of mine, who is a graphic artist. Once we finalized the content of his resume, he stylized it so it had a similar overall look as his career portfolio, Twitter profile page, website, and cover letter stationery.
Interested in learning more about a successful resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, interview coaching and job search strategy? Contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com or read more than 60 articles on www.CareerWisdomCoach.com