If you find yourself sitting at your desk staring at a blank piece of paper and trying to work out how to write a good resume, you need to first think about the aim of the resume. Your resume or curriculum vitae is a marketing document and needs to sell, highlight and promote all the value added skills that you can bring to the job. In recent years, Apple has been recognised for their brilliant marketing of their new products. As a job seeker, you also need to be able to promote and sell yourself. From a hiring manager’s perspective, they want to be able to read your resume and think to themselves “we need to hire this person”
Are you using the exact same resume to apply for every job? Each job you apply for is different and unique and as such you need to strategically target your resume towards each position. This does not mean you need to completely rewrite your resume each time, however adjusting the resume to suit the job will not only increase your chances of having your resume selected but will also create a great first impression with the hiring manager as they can see that your resume application was created for that specific role.
Do you have a generic objective statement at the very beginning of your resume? Hiring managers are not interested in reading generic objective statements or irrelevant information. Rather than having an objective statement, replace it with a more meaningful qualifications statement, where you provide the reader immediately with reasons why you would be the perfect person for the job. For example if the job is seeking a person with 5 years of project management experience, and you have the 5 years of experience, including this within a qualifications profile will immediately grab the reader’s attention forcing them to continue reading your resume.
Hiring managers are more interested in seeing “Achievement Statements” than reading through a resume that is full of “responsibilities and duties”. The best way to sell yourself to a future employer is by highlighting key achievements and backing these achievements up with quantitative and measurable evidence. Rather than telling the reader what you did on a day to day basis, rather tell the reader how what you did on a day to day basis added value to the company.
Although this sounds obvious, I have seen so many resumes that are actually so hard to follow, that it a negative first impression. Using a clear font, bullet points and headings will ensure that your skills and experience are easily located. Don’t forget that statistically, hiring managers will spend less than 30 seconds when first reading your resume. The easier you make your resume to read the greater chance you have of success.
Do you need help writing a resume?
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