The Job Search Handbook is a Free, 59 page A-Z career builder resource book. Great and helpful topics like resume help and job-search help.
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I'm including a snippet from Chapter Two, Improving Your Resume, from the Job Search Handbook resource...
Chapter 2: Improving your Resume
Your resume is one of the most important parts of your job search. It is often your resume which creates the first impression on the part of the recruiter or hiring manager, not your charming personality!
As you start using the elevator pitch you develop with the guidance we provide in Chapter 1, you will probably notice certain aspects of the pitch make sense to emphasize in some situations more than others. For example, if you’re talking to someone at a networking event who represents a company in the telecommunications industry and you have some experience in that area, you will likely spend more time talking about that particular experience with that particular person than you would when talking to other people not in that industry.
Similarly, you will want to have different versions of your resume to emphasize different aspects of your career. You may start off with just one version, but as you start to apply for jobs in different industries or that require slightly different expertise, fine tuning your resume for these different audiences makes sense.
Here are some critical things your resume must do for you:
1. Communicate exactly what you can do quickly (recruiter should be able to scan the resume and in less than 10 seconds be able to understand what your job function is)
2. Communicate which industries you have worked in – if an employer listed on your resume is not a well-known company, you should note what line of business the company is in. Recruiters are often looking for someone who comes from a certain industry.
3. Communicate that you are professional and diligent. Just as you would make sure you iron your shirt before you go into an interview in person, you need to make sure your resume looks professional too. This means you can’t have any spelling errors or grammaticalmistakes. Even great writers make grammatical mistakes, so you are taking a big risk if you
send your resume to anyone without having someone who is well-versed in grammar and writing style proofread it. If you can’t afford to hire a professional resume writer, an English
teacher would be a good runner-up choice. Most librarians are also good proofreaders because they read a lot.
4. Emphasize results you’ve achieved for the companies you’ve worked for. Simply noting that you were an accountant will not make your resume stand out. You need to indicate what you achieved in that job which made you better than the average accountant applying for the same positions you’re applying for. See the previous section on Elevator Pitches for ideas on how to identify your important accomplishments.
5. Be “searchable,” because most resumes are processed through automated systems these days. Searchable means that a recruiter searching for someone by typing in key words needs to be able to find your resume. The twist here is that not all recruiters will think of the same keywords for the same kind of person. One recruiter may type in “attorney,” and another may type in “lawyer.”
6. Not use too much jargon. Keep in mind that some people who read your resume will not be experts in your field. Don’t worry about using big words in your resume to try to impress people. The first person who sees your resume will likely be a recent college grad in the company’s human resources department, and may be completely unaware of the technical terms for the work you do. It’s ok to use some technical words if a lower-level person can still get the gist of what your background and talents are from the context.
7. Not make you seem over or under qualified. If someone reads your resume and thinks you’re too senior for a job, you won’t be considered. Likewise, if they read your resume and on first glance don’t think you’re senior enough, they will also move on to the next resume in their pile/search. One of the first things recruiters look at when they see your resume is the position titles.
They often look for someone whose most recent or current job title is the same as the job title for the position they’re trying to fill. Many recruiters (the good ones)
will also consider resumes where the most recent job title is slightly junior to the title of the position they’re trying to fill because they realize top performing people are interested in
advancing in their careers.
If you’re concerned that a job title on your resume makes you seem too senior or not senior enough, consider using a short functional description rather than the formal title.
For example, if you were the Chief Financial Officer at a small company and wanted recruiters to consider you for financial management positions at larger firms, you could write “Financial Manager” instead of your official title.
Likewise, let’s say you were applying for a job as a software development project manager. Your current job title is “programmer,” but you have also managed some other
programmers on some projects. Writing “Developer and Project Leader” instead of your official title would indicate that you have some management experience and make the recruiter more interested in seeing if you could be a potential fit for the job.