Job Search: So How’s That New Resume Going?

I’m reminded once again how many people don’t realize the harm they’re doing themselves by having a so-so resume – or worse.

I just started a new consulting job helping my client screen resumes and interview people for an opening they want to fill ASAP. As I begin to look at resumes from which I hope to uncover the absolutely perfect fit for the job, I already see way too many resumes that are not representing their owners as well as they could.

OK. Let me be blunt. Some of these resumes are horrible. And I worry that people just don’t realize how important their resume is to their job search. The bad ones get tossed, and, since you never hear any feedback, you’ll never realize to what extent you can help increase the number of “yeses” just by upping your resume game.

Please don’t sell yourself short. Your resume is your calling card. It often is given no more than 8 seconds to get someone’s attention and hopefully get you to that all-important interview. Not only should your resume be well-organized and attractive, it needs to zero in on what makes YOU special for this particular job.

A few things you can do to make your resume stand out

  • Tailor your resume to each job; even a few small tweaks help
  • Highlight special skills that especially match THIS job
  • Use action words such as Created, Led, Initiated, Managed, Produced, Developed, etc. to show that you can make things happen
  • Focus on accomplishments that show your unique contributions and not just the basic job requirements
  • Make sure the resume reflects who you are and what you can add to a company
  • If there are gaps, find a way to explain them that makes you look good
  • Use sample resumes to give your resume pizazz. (You can find some on Susan Ireland’s site.)

Take a good hard look at your resume.  See it as if you were seeing it for the first time. Is this the very best statement you can make about yourself? Does it paint a picture the company wants to see more of? Is there anything – even something as simple as different type fonts or the use of bold – that might make it really pop?

I’m looking at some resumes right now whose owners I wish knew just how little they tell me and how poor appearance they make. Oh…I know these might be great people, but since I can’t interview all of them, I’ll never know from the resumes I have in front of me.

That’s why I’m writing this. So you can be one of the few who stand out from the crowd. If I there is one thing you need to know, it’s that your resume really matters. And so does your cover letter!

Tips on resumes and cover letters:

Here basic information about both do-it-yourself resumes and paid resume services, including a link to a post that has some more detailed advice:

Resume Help

Good luck!

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi Ronnie Ann!

    You can’t overstate your advice enough: To land the job you think is perfect for you, your resume must highlight the skills and accomplishments that will make a hiring manager WANT to call you in for an interview. Many of today’s job seekers may believe it to be time-consuming to send a resume that’s tailored for each job in which you have an interest. But you need to make it easy on the reader, especially one who has to look through dozens of resumes in a given day.

    Oh, and thanks for the Pongo plug.

    Best,
    ~ Rick

  2. Hi Rick!

    Appreciate the emphasis. In fact, I was just on the phone with a recruiter who wants ME to apply for a long-term consulting job and asked me to add a few key things to my resume for emphasis…and I felt myself bristle. But she’s right and I will do it.

    Your tip about making it easy on the person reading the resume to know at a glance what we offer is a critical point for people to realize.

    As for mentioning Pongo, I have read your posts and those of others on your site and think Pongo offers great advice. And, although I cannot personally vouch for your online resume service being the best, I do know it’s a good one. Whether it’s Pongo or another service or a resume writer, if a person needs some help I hope they go out there and get it. And if they can use the helpful tips and create their own…great!

    Thanks for dropping by and for the excellent reminders!

    Ronnie Ann

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