1. Match Your Resume to the Job
To dart past job software filters, a resume must closely match your qualifications with the requirements specified in a job posting’s position description. Include keywords to help connect the dots. Alternatively, when you’re posting your resume in a job board’s resume database, research a dozen job ads in your target career field for typical requirements and keywords. The old generic resume has nearly dropped dead.
2. Choose Flattering Format
Select the best format for your situation. For example, the reverse chronological format is appropriate when staying in the same field, but a skills format works best when changing fields. A hybrid format (using parts of both types) is effective in any situation. One to two pages, in most cases, is the right length to avoid T.M.I. (too much information).
3. Sell, Don’t Tell
Forget the naming-your-previous-responsibilities routine. Merely listing “Responsible for XYZ” doesn’t assure the recruiter you met your responsibility or the result of your efforts was worth the money someone paid you. Don’t be stingy with your accomplishments. Always answer the “So what?” question for each accomplishment. The hiring honchos are thinking “Who cares?” or “What’s in it for me?” Tell them!
4. Prove Your Claims
A good start on backing up your claims of skills and accomplishments is measuring them with numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts.
Compare the following statements. Which is the most convincing?
- Easy Ways to Be More Popular OR 50 Easy Ways to Be More Popular
- Towels on Sale OR Towels 40% Off
- Designed internal company insurance plan to replace outside plan at great savings OR Designed $30 million self-insured health plan, saving estimated $5 million per year over previous external plan.
5. Use Bulleted Style for Easy Reading
Using one- or two-liners opens up your resume with white space, making it more appealing to read. Big blocks of text suffocate readers. Let your words breathe.