Despite your brilliant talent or extensive experience, you can't look for a new or better job without a concise, specific and effective resume.
Your resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. Like a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP), you must ensure that the content of your resume addresses the needs of the employer. Your objective is to deliver a story that demonstrates you have already successfully performed and produced results in the capacities required and hence qualify for the next step — a face-to-face interview.
Writing a resume is only slightly more enjoyable than a root canal.
Face it. None of us have a passion for writing resumes. However, knowing that a great resume is your ticket to securing the job of your dreams should generate a spark of enthusiasm. You are after all, writing about the most important person in your life — YOU!
Winning resumes focus on key and quantifiable achievements and accomplishments because they showcase you as a top performer. Accomplishment statements describe what exactly you did to achieve your outstanding results.
Job descriptions on the other hand, merely outline the job expectations so it's best to avoid them. In today's job market a resume built simply on a job description is not competitive. Job descriptions provide the reader with a list of functions — not results. A potential employer is not interested in what was expected from you — they want to know how well you performed against those expectations. Example: “Managed six direct reports” is a job description. However, “Increased productivity by 14% in twelve months by leading a team of six technical resources to deliver projects on time, on budget while exceeding customer expectations” is an accomplishment statement.
At best a reader will only skim through your resume so don't distract them with unnecessary detail, wordiness, generic statements and information that is too high-level. Remember they are looking for performance statements.
If you have more than 10 years experience, be sure your resume is a MAXIMUM of three pages of relevant content. Remove any information that is not applicable to the specific role.
Hiring managers are only interested in viewing resumes that are written in reverse chronological order, so be sure to start with your most recent employment and work backwards.
A functional resume that focuses on grouping skills and abilities leaves the reader frustrated because they do not know when or where you performed the results. Functional resumes also tend to duplicate information.Here is the must-have checklist for your resume:
One of the most common mistakes in managerial and executive level resumes is the omission of context in professional experiences. Through context, you are helping highlight where you do indeed fit.
When you leave the reader of your resume guessing who your employer was — industry/sector, ownership (public, private, family business, etc.) size, market position — the chances are that they won't guess. They will just move on to the next resume.
If you have worked with recognizable names, market leaders, etc. use that to your advantage. If you haven't, make sure that you use a brief description of your past employer's business.
The best resumes articulate a theme, or thread through a career path. Various experiences and education show you know where you are going, and your work experiences create a story that explains why you made certain choices, and more importantly why you are here today being interviewed for this opportunity.