Winning Over With A Resume: How to stand out
Think of your resume as a marketing tool. Market yourself through your resume. What are your features and benefits? What makes you unique? Make sure to convey this information in your resume. Don’t be afraid to brag a little – just be honest.
Use your resume to obtain an interview, not a job. The purpose of your resume is to generate enough interest in you to have an employer contact you for an interview. Show the employer proof of your value using real-life examples from your background. Use the interview to provide a more detailed explanation of your accomplishments and to land a job offer.
Use bulleted sentences. Use bullets with short descriptive sentences, rather than lengthy paragraphs.
Use action words. Action words cause your resume to pop. To add life to your resume, use bulleted sentences that begin with positive action verbs. Eliminated, Implemented, Negotiated, Supervised, Controlled, Designed, Ensured, Verified, Operated, Maintained, Performed etc.
Use #’s, $’s, and %’s. Numbers, dollars, and percentages stand out in the body of a resume. Use them to quantify the results of your accomplishments (Prove your value proposition).
Lead with your strengths. Since resumes are typically reviewed in 30 seconds, take the time to determine which bullets most strongly support your job search objective. Put those strong points first where they are more apt to be read.
Use buzzwords. If there are terms that show your competence in a particular field, use them in your resume. For marketing people, use “competitive analysis.” For accounting types, use “reconciled accounts,” etc.
Accent the positive. Leave off negatives and irrelevant points. If you feel your date of graduation will subject you to age discrimination, leave the date off.
Show who you know. If you have reported to someone important such as a vice president or department manager, say so in your resume. Having reported to someone important informs the reader that you are important also.
Construct your resume to read easily. Leave white space. Use a font size no smaller than 10 point. Proofread very carefully, spelling and grammatical errors can destroy an otherwise powerful resume. Limit the length of your resume to 2 pages (ideally). Remember, resumes are reviewed quickly. Have someone else review your resume. Encourage them to ask questions. Their questions can help you to discover items you inadvertently left off your resume or are confusing to the reader. Revise and clarify your resume based on this input.
The litmus test – If it reads like a great online dating profile for that desired job, then you are probably doing it right. Just don’t lie about your height! :-)
A Winning Resume should be a glowing recommendation detailing your work history and accomplishments, and focusing on significant highlights that would benefit your next employer. So bring out that wordsmith in you and share all things exciting about yourself to score that first curious phone call !
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