I have seen some awful resumes.
These either get tossed right away or get put aside to be used as the butt of jokes over beers some night. Don’t inadvertently send out a bad resume. Tell your story in a good resume and get a fair shot at opportunities that come your way.
Be aware that resumes are no longer the most important job search tool. This was true 20 or 30 years ago, but not any longer. A resume is more of a marketing piece, a leave-behind, if you are networking effectively to find opportunities.
An interesting article I read recently said that a good resume is standard, nothing special. He says, “A bad resume obliterates your chances and a good resume is the absolute minimum.” I wish I said that. Heck, I HAVE said that!
Although the resume is no longer the most important job search tool, we still want to have a good resume because everything you put out into the world is a reflection on you. Resumes should be customized to reflect who you are and what you want. It takes discipline to select the right words that tell your story in the limitations of space.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to create a good resume that doesn’t undermine your job search efforts:
Know what you want. A customized resume should be built around you, reflecting the uniqueness you bring to your role.
Know the problem your ideal company is trying to solve. Build your resume with that problem in mind. If you are a supply chain director, research the issues going on in your ideal company these days then keep that in mind as you select elements for your resume.
Be accomplishment oriented. Identify accomplishments that demonstrate you can solve the problem you know that company has. Accomplishments are usually quantitative and measurable. These form the basis for stories you can tell during job interviews so the reader can calibrate your ability to deliver results.
Use language that the reader will understand. A former client wanted to move from Design Engineering into Marketing. We used accomplishments that related to interaction with customers, engineering and marketing to make the case that his design engineering experience was transferrable to marketing.
No more than two pages. One page is even better. The reader will invest about 6 seconds in your resume. Don’t make them work for it.
Customize your resume. You must be pleased with your resume. It reflects YOU so make it the best. Give yourself a headline so the reader knows right away what you want.
Make it professional and appealing. Use consistent fonts, good white space and layout, no more than 2 pages, and spell-checked. It should be perfect. Nothing makes you look sillier than a typo. In fact, some folks will never hire someone with mistakes in their resume.
Finally, have an expert review your resume to make sure it looks right. I have looked at thousands of resumes in my lifetime. I currently write about one or more resume per week. I’ve seen it all. I can review your resume and make suggestions, so you look your best. It is a small investment in your future.
Creating a good resume is the start to your job search. Spend some quality time to create a resume that reflects well on you and you can move on to the next stage of job search: networking and interviews so you can get the job you love!
Step-by-step lessons and templates to build your STAND OUT Resume
A resume is a tool that is just one piece in your job search plan. You MUST have a resume that helps you stand out from the crowd and catches the attention of hiring managers. If not, you may not even get to the interview stage of your job search. The Interview Doctor specializes in helping candidates create or upgrade their resume and we have a solution that fits any budget! Check out our Resume in a Box.
It includes video lessons, a workbook, and templates to help you create your own “Stand Out Resume.” Click here to purchase the course.