As a Hiring Manager I review thousands of resumes a month. Here are just a few of the items I immediately look for in a resume. These secrets will get your resume to the top of the stack every time.
1. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords. Just like location, location, location in real estate. Keywords are the base for any great resume and they are how your resume will get noticed. First, pick job specific keywords those that are relevant to your prior work history, accomplishments, and career goals. When a hiring manager or recruiter does a search in their candidate database or on a job boards the keywords they search for need to be in your resume. Personality descriptors are not what a recruiters searches by. Examples are: effective communicator, self-motivated, amicable. Better keywords are Cost Accountant, Contract Negotiation, and Profit and Loss Management.
2. Tailor your resume to the position you are trying to pursue. On your work history section of your resume don’t list all your duties at your previous job list the ones that are MOST APPLICABLE to the position you are trying to obtain. Even better is to choose accomplishments and contributions that are related and list those as well. Which brings me to my next point.
3. List accomplishments and contributions not duties. Employers want to see what you can do for them, what value-added service or skills are you going to bring to the table. When I review a resume I want to know what you accomplished at your last job and how that translates into what my company needs. Pick accomplishments that are specific to the job you are trying to get.
4. Market your knowledge, skills, and abilities. I always tell my clients the first 1/3 of their resume is the most important. If the top third of the page catches my eye then I will take the time to read the rest. You can make your resume stand out by creating a powerful career summary at the top and then adding a core strengths section right underneath.
5. Create a powerful introductory statement. You introductory statement needs to be related to the position you want to obtain, sell your best attributes, and be POWERFUL. When I read an introductory statement I’m looking for that WOW factor. I want it to grab my attention, tell me you’re the best candidate for my position, and make me want to read the rest of your resume.
6. Highlight your strengths in a core knowledge section. This is a great facilitator for keywords. Use industry specific keywords in this section. If you put your keywords here and disperse them throughout the resume your chances of being first in a search on a job board dramatically increases.
7. Create an eye catching format. Design the layout of your resume to be reader-friendly and attention grabbing. If I open your resume and it is a mess I’m not going to spend more of my time searching through it to find the information I need. If your style, format, and layout are attractive I will be more inclined to read through the rest of the document.
Jessica Holbrook is a former Hiring Manager and a professional resume writer with Great Resumes Fast. She creates powerful, customized, and targeted resumes that are guaranteed to get her clients interviews. For a free resume analysis visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or for a free phone consultation call 1.877.875.7706