Does Your Resume Have the Competitive Edge?
9/19/2011 2:48:03 PM
By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
The first step towards creating an effective resume is getting a clear idea of what the competition’s like. In today’s job market, it is not uncommon to have hundreds, and sometimes over a thousand applicants for a coveted position. What separates those candidates who land interviews from those who don’t? It all comes down to having an effective strategy, one which holds giving prospective employers what they want over personal preferences. Here are 3 ways to boost the impact of your resume and land the job of your dreams faster:
1) Use Relevant Job Postings as Source Material
Jobseekers often fret over having to create a resume from scratch. The smart ones understand that you don’t have to! Gather a comprehensive sampling of job postings you’d be interested in applying for. Closely evaluate them. What skills are mentioned time and time again? What special training or experience do you possess that would mesh well with what they’re looking for? Create a list of 3-6 such skills and make sure they’re highlighted in the resume’s opening and within the work history. This approach helps establish a professional theme for your resume and differentiates you from the competition.
2) Streamline or Eliminate Non-Relevant Positions in Your Work History
A resume’s impact is far more important than its comprehensiveness. Just because you’ve worked a variety of jobs DOES NOT mean they should all receive the same amount of attention in your resume. Again, use the job postings as a guide to identifying which ones to highlight. Non-relevant positions can be briefly summarized in a 1-2 line “Career Note” within your work history. Also, positions held beyond the last 10-15 years should probably be consolidated within an “Additional Experience” section containing a few highlights per job, no dates.
3) Separate Job Responsibilities from Concrete Successes Within Your Work History
With most recruiters and hiring agents spending less than a minute on a first pass of a candidate’s resume, VISUALS MATTER. Begin each relevant position in your work history with a brief paragraph describing responsibilities, followed by a “Key Accomplishments” or similar section listing successes (in bullets). This approach naturally draws the gaze towards achievements and builds reader interest in getting to know a candidate further.
4) Make Sure Your Resume is Comprehensible to Those Outside Your Target Industry
Don’t make the mistake of assuming those reading your resume are familiar with industry jargon and acronyms. Spell these out wherever possible and make sure the responsibilities and accomplishments within your work history can be at least generally understood by anyone. Taking this extra step goes a long way towards expanding the reach of your resume and demonstrating value.
About the Author
Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).
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