Is Your Resume “Broken”?

Most clients contact me because they are totally frustrated with writing and rewriting their resume with no results.  Daniel, who called yesterday, told me he has submitted his resume to over 75 job postings in the last few months and has not heard a word from any recruiter or company.  He told me he now realizes that he is doing “something wrong” and asked me to help him land his next position.

Want a great resume that “takes you to your next position”? 

In 5 Easy Steps, You can Transform your Resume!

  1. Your SPECIFIC LOCATION is not necessary

Not only are job seekers concerned about potential identity theft and safety issues, but your street address is not needed on your resume. Simply list your city, state, and zip code so that the recruiter and hiring manager knows that you are local and within a reasonable commute.

  1. A HEADLINE tells the world what you are or aspire to be

The mistake most people make is either not having a headline or using their current job title.  Why limit yourself, especially if you are considering a career change?  Help the recruiter by writing a short headline of key words describing yourself or using the job title of the position you are seeking.  You get “extra credit” for the headline, too, if it contains keywords which are discoverable by the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) when the recruiter is searching for candidates with specific experience, knowledge and abilities.

  1. An OBJECTIVE is rarely relevant

Why?  Simply put, the Objective is you-focused and the employer is interested in what you can do for their organization.  Neither does the Objective capture the reader’s attention nor does it send the message you need to send. Rather than detail what you are looking for, describe what you are best at, the value you present and what differentiates you from the competition. Replace the Objective with a Summary.

  1. A SUMMARY, stunningly written, is critical

If you imagine your resume as a website or newspaper, think how critical it is to grab the reader’s attention and to keep it, in order to encourage him or her to continue reading.  You have the same challenge with your resume. The summary may be the most important section of the resume.  This is the equivalent of your elevator pitch on paper so be specific, succinct and showcase your talent.

Do’s:

  • Use your experience, industry, professional verbiage, and accomplishments as keywords (to be found by the ATS) as well as create interest.
  • Compose an interesting and well written paragraph capturing your career.
  • Appeal to the employer’s WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) natural curiosity. What can you do for the company? What is your value proposition?

Don’ts:

  • Avoid the overused and undervalued phrases that recruiters see in almost every resume such as “tenacious, seasoned, quick learner, energetic, go getter, passionate”. Yawn. How can these generic phrases describe your unique set of experience and abilities when everyone else uses them?  I can’t over emphasize how dangerous it is to use these words and phrases.   A recruiter may think you lack creativity, don’t know your own value or, much less, you have no value to them as a potential employee.  Take the time to carefully and creatively construct this section.  It is time well spent.
  1. Don’t LIMIT your career to one page

It has been a long standing rule that your resume should be one to two pages long; however, with most companies using the ATS (applicant tracking systems) to find candidates with keywords matching their business needs, you will do yourself a disservice by limiting yourself.  Depending upon the length of your career, it may be appropriate to have a three page resume.  A client of mine, and recent MBA graduate who had worked summers and during college in his area of study, possessed enough experience for a two page resume.  Don’t forget to include volunteer work and internships if you gained relevant and work related experience. Experience is experience – paid or not.

For much more information on a successful job search, read other articles on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com or contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

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