With today's level of competition for good jobs your resume has got only one chance to make a great first impression. Here are five strategies for transforming a blah document into a WOW resume that will get employers calling you.
Keep your focus clear and to the point. In the past job seekers have used an objective statement at the top of their resume to indicate their employment interest. At the speed that recruiters take in viewing resumes, a wordy objective statement just doesn't get the job done. Instead, write a short summery that clearly illustrates your career focus. Your statement should include your profession, how long you've done it and your particular areas of expertise.
For example: Senior purchasing professions with 10 years' procurement expertise in: strategic sourcing, contract negotiation, financial analysis, strategic planning, leadership, contract law and process improvement.
Remember, keep your focus clear and make sure that everything following in your resume relates to your focus.
Stuff your resume with key words. The more key words you use the more frequently your resume will show up in online searches like LinkedIn, TheLadders and CareerBuilder, etc.. Additionally, employer resume data bases also use key words to query for qualifying candidates. Without appropriate key words your resume will be electronically ignored.
A good way to make sure your resume is full of key words is to check it against job postings. As much as you can, match up your terminology with what you find in job postings.
Keep your resume reader-friendly. Nothing gets ignored like a resume full of lengthy blocks of text. Resume screeners need to be able to absorb your information quickly. Leave out extraneous details so that key facts show up easily. Separate blocks of text into smaller easy-to-digest snippets of information. Use white space to separate bullet points so that each stand out. Be sure that your font size is readable: nothing smaller than 11 point.
Include plenty of accomplishments. Stand out from the crowd with accomplishments that show how you solve universal problems such as saving time, cutting costs, improving performance and increasing customer satisfaction. Your accomplishments should stand out on your resume in bullets separate from your responsibilities. Don't make the common mistake of combining responsibilities and accomplishments in a long list of bullets. List your responsibilities in a small block of text and your accomplishments in bullet form following.
Get your best information on page one. If you can't grab their attention on page one they won't read the wonderful things you've got on page two or three. This presents a problem for those who experienced their most productive work five or more years back. The solution is to use the hybrid resume format that allows you to create a highlight of accomplishments section at the top of page one. This area of your resume is reserved for the best examples of your work. The accomplishments you include should illustrate the key transferable skills needed for the position you are interested in.
Don't delay in implementing these resume changes. Employers are waiting for you with opportunities for a better career and a better life.
Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach Read more career tips and see sample resumes at: www.alphaadvantage.com