3 Things They Won't Tell You About Your Resume
11/1/2011 4:18:50 PM
By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
As a job seeker, you're seemingly doing everything right: networking both online and face-to-face, submitting to positions, and even landing a few interviews. However, for some reason, actually SECURING a new position isn't happening. What gives? Recruiters and hiring agents approach a resume as essentially a series of talking points during the interview, calling out particular details and asking you to elaborate. If the stage isn't set correctly within the resume, the chances of you actually landing the position you want are greatly minimized. Here are 3 frequent offenders that trip up job seekers:
1. Lack of Context
While quantifiable metrics are important when listing accomplishments, they can't exist in a vacuum. CONTEXT is the key here. How did you accomplish a particular success? Did you effectively collaborate with project teams or demonstrate expertise in using a particular system?
Take a look at the following example taken from a candidate seeking an IT Management role:
"Created competency center enabling 5000+ man-hour savings within 1 year."
While the accomplishment is clear, there's very little information here as to how the candidate achieved it. Communicating leadership and in-depth industry knowledge are crucial to a successful job search. Now take a look at this revised version:
"Designed and successfully developed competency center enabling re-utilization of services, resulting in 5000+ man-hour savings within 1 year."
See the difference? A slight tweaking positions this candidate for leadership roles and makes what he achieved comprehensible to readers who might not necessarily have an IT background.
2. Lack of Impact
Don't make the mistake of thinking that simply listing your skills and accomplishments is enough to secure an interview. In today's highly competitive marketplace, HOW you say something matters nearly as much as what you're saying. Resumes utilize a particular language all their own, with sentences beginning with verbs and usage of the past tense throughout (even for a job you're currently working at). For example, let's take a look at this example taken from a candidate seeking a Business Analyst role:
"I work with technical groups in solving client problems and system outages. I also identified several process improvements and managed stakeholder reporting."
While the skills outlined above are valued, ineffective wording dulls the overall impact. Imagine an entire document that uses language like this and it's easy to see why this job seeker wasn't landing interviews!
Now let's take a look at a revised version:
"Coordinated between multiple technical groups in solving client issues and system outages, as well as continuously identifying system improvements and reporting to stakeholders."
See the difference? Taking the time to optimize resume wording and language can pay off exponentially...in the form of a shortened job search.
3. Lack of Relevancy
Be wary when switching careers in the current, risk-averse marketplace. While stressing transferable skills throughout your resume is a good approach, a resume cannot consist ENTIRELY of such details. Bolster your resume with some recent training credits in the field you'd like to enter as well as some professional affiliations. This sends a clear message of commitment, and encourages recruiters/hiring agents to take a chance on bringing you in for an interview.
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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