How to Write a Resume that Sells
You've competed your career training from PCDI and you're prepared to use your skills to start your new career. So, what now? Advertise yourself with a good resume! Sure, any job search comes with its fair share of rejection, set –backs and perhaps even frustration. But, one of the most powerful tools you'll need while job shopping is a well-composed and written resume. Maybe you're thinking “Doesn't a resume show my work/education history?” The short answer is yes, but an effective resume should be successful in highlighting your leadership, communication and managerial skills and accomplishments. It should paint a portrait of your capabilities and worth to any prospective employer. With this in mind; here are some rules of etiquette to follow when crafting a resume that will advertise your skills.
Use Titles or Headings that Match the Job you are Seeking
Let's face it, there's stiff competition in the job market today. It isn't enough to make sure your resume is absent of typos, misspellings and what have you. Your resume should grab any prospective employer's attention within 5 seconds. How? Don't downplay your experience. Use titles or headings to highlight your experience and responsibilities within your position.
For example, instead of Joe the Job Searcher simply writing Accounting Assistant as one of his job responsibilities at ACME accounting, Joe uses a description of his duties – Managed A/R and A/P Accounts to showcase his skills.
Jackie Job Searcher (no relation to Joe) is looking for a position as an Executive Assistant. Instead of Jackie writing Administrative Assistant in the area for her last employer – Bibbo Tools, she showcases her daily responsibilities – Managed workflow in Word-processing and Spreadsheet Applications.
Layout your Resume to Grab Attention
Help employers cut through the clutter! Your resume must highlight the most important information about your work experience, education and skills. If you have every job since your babysitting days on your resume, prospective employers my incorrectly assume you are not qualified for the position for which you are applying.
Create Killer Content– Will Employers Buy What you're Selling?
It isn't enough to simply show your skills – you must generate excitement about your skills and give employers a reason to buy what you are selling. For example, instead of Joe Job Searcher showing that he simply maintained accounts payable and receivable, he includes and highlights the quantity: Maintained 1500 A/R and A/P accounts while supervising 2 accounting clerks.
This shows a more accurate accounting (pardon the pun) of Joe's responsibilities as well as leadership abilities.
Quantify Responsibilities and use Adjectives to Describe them
Add power to job responsibilities by adding adjectives describing your function. Jackie Job Searcher kept the executive calendar for her company. On her resume Jackie describes her duties this way:
Managed travel and appointment calendar for five executive VP's.
This helps prospective employers to understand Jackie's responsibilities with more clarity.
Research Job Posts and Descriptions to Identify Keywords
The majority of employers will find your resume online. Not only are you applying to job postings you find, prospective employers are searching online employment boards such as Career Builder, Monster and networking sites such as LinkedIn where you post your resumes and cover letters. Since employers are looking for you, make it easy for them to find you! Whether you are unemployed or hoping to make a move to a new company or even a new career, doing research to see what keywords companies' use in their job postings and employing the same keywords on your resume is one sure way to boost your visibility on the web and help employers find you better.
Create an Image that Matches the Salary you want
Keep in mind the salary you're seeking as you write your resume objective. The language you choose to throw your hat into the ring for an $8 an hour job is quite a bit different than the language you'd use for a $20 an hour position. Don't well, sell yourself short.
Take Joe Job Searcher (yes him again) for example. Instead of writing this objective: Seeking an entry-level job in accounts receivable and payable – He leverages his value and potential for negotiating salaries with this objective: Seeking an Accounting position using my expertise – Managing A/R and A/P for more than $500K in accounts.
Target your Resume
Lastly, you'll generate more interest by targeting your resume to the job you are seeking. Match your skills to the position. For example, Jackie Job Searcher did research for an executive admin position at Best Rooms Hotels and saw that they were looking for someone who could use word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. She then adjusted the current skill on her resume from the simplistic Computer Skills to Office Computer Applications/Software Savvy which ties into the keywords the employer has in his posting.
Of course this article is devoted to how to write a resume that will get noticed, you the interview and hopefully the job but we also discuss such job search essentials as 10 Resume Don'ts, How to Write a Cover Letter, Tips for Interviewing and Negotiating Salaries as a part of this series brought to you by PCDI.
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