Most people agree: the key and foundation of an effective job search is a strong resume. But creating one is easier said than done, as most job seekers know from experience, and it takes a lot more than an impressive career history to catch the eye of the hiring manager.
Three strategies to an interview-worthy resume
- Accomplishments – not Duties
Many resumes resemble job descriptions and nothing can be less compelling, less effective in demonstrating your value to potential employers, and downright boring to read. Your resume needs to grab attention and incent the reader to continue reading.
Hiring managers want to see results.
- What improvements have you made to processes
- Have you increased sales or expanded business
- What cost savings have you contributed
- Have you created new programs
If the answers to the above are “yes”, back up that claim with data and metrics. Numbers and percentages really jump out to a reader of your resume.
A recent CareerBuilder survey revealed that the following words impressed hiring managers (but only if supplemented with supporting metrics): achieved, improved, trained/mentored, managed, created, resolved, volunteered, influenced, increased/decreased, ideas, negotiated, launched, revenue/profits, under budget and won.
- Keywords – borrowed from the job posting
Most resumes are submitted online through a job board or company portal and are screened by an ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems. The ATS can be a source of frustration for job seekers but it is critical that you understand why the HR Department and Hiring Managers depend upon it and even more important to ensure that your resume will be “accepted” by the ATS. Simply put, the number of online applications and resume submissions is so great that the Recruiters needed a way to screen out irrelevant resumes and this is done by using keywords and key phrases. It is critical that your resume “meets the ATS test” for formatting also or you run the risk of not being considered for the position even if you are the most qualified.
The solution is easy; include keywords from the job description which match up to your experience.
- Relevancy – Resume relevancy is a must because it helps the recruiter and hiring manager “see” you in the role. Here are some examples:
If Not Changing Careers: Seek out and emphasize relevancy. For example, if applying to a Fortune 500 company and you have had experience working in another Fortune 500 company, you bring the ability to navigate within a large and complex organization while another job candidate who has worked for only small companies does not. When working as a Talent Manager for a Fortune 200 company, I found that it was much easier for new employees to transition if they had worked for larger companies for this very reason. The employees without that background sometimes struggled with the orientation process of a much larger organization.
If the job posting requires specific experience which you might not have, include any relevant knowledge or experience gained by special projects, job rotations or stretch assignments and be prepared to offer more details during the job interview. Share that information either within the employment section of the resume or add a section entitled “Relevant Experience” and highlight it.
Career Changers: Even if changing to a different profession or industry, emphasize the transferrable skills and experience which make you qualified for the position. You may be surprised at how many people use the same generic resume to apply to a variety of job postings and the recruiters shake their heads due to the irrelevancy and lack of match between the job candidate’s resume and the job posting.
So, if you are not hearing from recruiters and hiring managers, it could be that your resume is not interview-worthy. Put the above strategies to work for you and you will be one step closer to your dream career.
Keeping these strategies in mind will help you craft an Interview-Worthy Resume. If you liked this article, read others on my website www.CareerWisdomCoach.com or contact me for information how I can help you land your ideal job and career Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com