The easiest thing to do when you begin job seeking is to search online for a resume template and replicate that templates with your own professional history. Easy, right? Wrong. Using a resume template will not increase your chances of getting hired because it does exactly the opposite; your resume is supposed to present a unique professional first impression in order to stand out from the competition.
When it comes to finding a new job, increasing your salary and promoting your skills and achievements, the way your resume is presented, structured and written can be the difference between success and failure. With the huge increase of online submissions via employment, career and recruitment sites, it is now easier than ever to apply for jobs. In competitive industries, hiring managers can receive over 1,000 resumes for a particular role. In fact, due to the high volume of applications, many companies now use automated software programs (Automated Resume Screeners) to help with the hiring and elimination process. Many basic resume templates found online can actually interfere with these software programs as the programs are unable to read pictures, tables or images… making your resume unreadable.
Start with a blank piece of paper – what is the best way to make my resume stand out?
Before you even begin the task of writing your resume I would advise you to prepare a list of all the great quantitative achievements and value added skills that you can bring to your next job. Remember that hiring managers are interested in how you are going to be a great asset for the company, and the best way to present this information is through your past achievements. In addition to listing your achievements, include examples and evidence that back up your achievements, and lead with this information.
“Project managed a team that completed the project on time and on budget leading to increased revenues and a reduction in overall costs”
This statement comes across very generic with no evidence to back up the statements. In fact, this statement actually asks more questions than it gives answers. How many people did you project manage? What was the increase in revenues? How did you reduce costs?
After Example (lead with the achievements):
Managed a team of 15 contractors that increased operating revenues (22%, YTD) and reduced costs (18%, YTD) through the effective implementation of continuous process improvements and KPI management.
Three more resume writing tips:
1) Only include information on your resume that adds values
Statistically you only have between 10-20 seconds to attract the reader’s attention. If you fail to make an impression in this time period your resume will most probably be deleted. Remove all unnecessary information. “Interests”, “Hobbies” etc. do not belong on your resume.
2) Bullet points / sub bullet points work to attract the reader’s attention and improve readability
Long sentences are boring to read and make it harder for the reader to recognize the achievement. Using headings, bullet points and sub bullet points will not only professionalize the look of your resume, but it will make the reading process a lot easier.
3) Include a “Qualifications Profile”
A qualifications profile is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the reader and make a great first impression. As opposed to an objective statement (where you tell the reader what you want), a qualifications profile promotes to the reader the skills (qualifications) you have that will make you the perfect person for their particular role. A strong qualifications profile can immediately develop a great first impression (a weak profile can do the exact opposite).
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