Resume Series Part 2 – Dust-Off Your Resume

October 28, 2015

 

Now that you have completed your research from “Resume Series Part 1”. The goal is to stand out from the piles of applications. So, dust-off your resume and customize it to the career you want.  This does not have to be an arduous task. Below are some simple steps to create a resume that will stand out from the crowd.

 

Determine the type of resume you need. Print out the posted position or save it to your desktop. Highlight key phrases: “high energy environment,”  “work with key leadership and clients,” “frequent travel,” “HTML experience.”

 

Make your language match. Now, go through your resume and replace what you have written with key phrases.  Note: This is not lying. This is about careful word choices. Your resume states, “met regularly with key leadership teams,” but the job posting states, “interfaces with senior management,” so use their language instead. Studying the job post’s key phrases may also remind you of important skills or experience you may have left off your resume.

 

Make every word count. If something in your resume does not meet the needs of the job, opt to leave the information out of your resume. (Only omit if it does not leave you a gap in your work experience.) Remember: What you leave out in one resume may be useful in another. Save deleted information in another document. Also, keep your resume to one page and not more than two pages.

 

Give the right skills priority. You may be proud of your degree, but, place your education at the end of your resume. Place skills the position is requiring ahead of others. For example, if you are applying for a project manager position, make sure your project manager skills are prominent and listed first. Are you applying for a job that requires complex computer work? Itemize the software you know and what you have done with it right at the top. In addition, turn your accomplishments into numbers. Some departments have one person and some have 500.  Be specific in how many people you managed or how many clients you juggled.

 

Think inside of the job posting. As a general rule, your resume should only be about your career and your education. However, what if you are applying for an accounting position for an interior design firm? Then that flower decorating class you took for fun should find its way onto your resume or cover letter. An interior design firm may find it appealing that you are not only great with numbers but interested in design. That's an advantage over your competitors. 

 

Do not think too much outside of the resume and do not share birthdate, religion, hobbies, weight, social security number, marital status, children, sexual orientation, life mission statements or links to personal social media sites (Facebook or personal blogs).

 

Proof read over and over and over again. Then, print out your resume and proof read. One set of eyes is not enough. Once you feel you can proof no more, ask at least three other people to look it over. Look for they’re / there / their, your / you’re and rogue apostrophes. Spell check will not catch those kinds of mistakes and grammar checks are not helpful because resumes often contain incomplete sentences. 

 

In conclusion, tweak your resume to accurately reflect your experience. Do not lie. As long as you are honest, you do not need to worry about an employer seeing two versions of your resume. Any reasonably savvy recruiter or hiring manager will understand why there is more than one version. Come back soon to this site to see Resume Series Part 3 – Tricks of the Trade.

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