Personally, these are the things I like:
- Chronological Resume
- Bullet Points (please don’t write paragraphs)
- Summary NOT objective (showcase your strengths)
- If you have graduated in the past 5 years (Education on top)
- Certifications, such as the CPA listed behind your name!
- Software section….detailed excel skills…lets face it I work with Accountants and Finance Professionals
- Achievements – What have you done to save time or money? Can you quantify that? Again, I work with F&A Professionals
- A brief explanation of what the company does and their annual sales, i.e. 300M publicly traded Manufacturer of Widgets
Now on to the article…….
3 Steps to Improve your Resume by Erica (Wezner) Tew, CPRW
Writing a quality resume will take some time. For best results, do not rush this process. Spend time in your job search researching an employer before sending a resume. It is better to have three value-driven resumes sent in one week than it is to send 30 of the same document at the click of your mouse. The goal of your resume is to get an interview, so if you haven’t been receiving invitations, try out some of these modifications:
- Don’t hide important information – You may be changing careers or industries, and may be prone to try out a resume that is more functional in style than most. However, all recruiters and hiring managers want to see your work history. If you bury your work history and dates of employment, or choose not to include them at all, you will be raising red flags. To mitigate this, state clearly up front which field you are transitioning into and focus on your results. Although your work history may be outside of your target field, refusing to mention it at all will lead the employer to draw their own conclusions about a potential gap in employment.
Hiding recent dates or work history will also make your resume unclear or even confusing. At a time when recruiters are reviewing resumes anywhere from within 30 to 6 seconds, you need to make sure the sections they want to scan towards are readily available.
- Show your results – Not everyone will have executive level achievements, but if you only state your job duties, you are missing a chance to impress a hiring manager. Figuring out your achievements can be tricky. You may not have gotten any formal recognition for a particular event, or maybe you just think you simply “did your job” every day.
To start, think of a time you improved, or helped improve, a work process and describe it. Did you ever go above and beyond for a customer? Did that customer become a regular customer because of your service? Did you see a way the company could save money and either implement a solution, or successfully raise the idea to your manager? Any of these items could be incorporated into your job descriptions, and they will add more weight to your work history. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see your results, so show them what you have done. The job search isn’t the time to be modest: own your achievements.
- Customize the resume – This one is huge. Most job seekers that work with a resume writer or career advisor know they have to customize their resume for each position, however, this means more than just editing your Headline or Objective. Achievements, Education, Areas of Expertise, and Work History descriptions: if a section does not relate to your target job at all, modify it.
For example, although many people may be proud of their collegiate accomplishments, these should not take space over your work history and results. Turning a solid one- or two-page resume into three or four pages because you want to include names of companies or school awards from over 10 years ago will not effectively market you. Further information can always be provided upon request, but focus on keeping your resume concise and to-the-point for your initial contact.
Say you were using a dating website and you sent the same message to every person that said something like, “Hi, I read your profile and you seem interesting. You would be perfect for me. Call me at 555-555-1234.” Would you call that person? Or would you think they were a bit presumptive (and maybe a little odd, coming out of left field)? Most people would rather respond to the person that said something that shows they really read your profile, and wanted to get to know you more. Although the job search isn’t dating, both are the beginning of potentially long-term commitments. Focus on finding a match for you and then do your best to create a positive first impression.
Use the job posting as your guide and make sure you try to match each qualification or skill called for in the advertisement. Try to make the recruiter’s job easy and show you have the qualifications, then see Step 2 and emphasize your results.
If you don’t know where to begin with customizing your resume, showing results, or determining the best format for you, then I recommend getting in contact with a resume writer or someone within your field. Conduct research on job search sites such as this one, and you can be better prepare yourself on what it takes to draft a resume that will capture attention and secure an interview.