Many candidates make the mistake of treating their resume as solely a summary of their professional background. Your resume is much more than what you bring to the table. Your resume represents a demonstration of your skills, abilities and business acumen.
Do you realize that your resume is the first work product you provide to a potential employer? This is why employers are turned off when they see typos, poorly constructed sentences and inconsistent formatting. Most professions require you to have strong communication skills. Therefore, it is critical that your resume demonstrates your ability to present important information clearly, concisely, and professionally.
Don’t have an eye for aesthetics or the wordsmith mastery of a professional writer? Seek the help of a resume expert or take the time to study professionally written resumes.
Take a hard look at your resume and ask yourself whether it truly represents the quality of the work you will do for a new company. Is it customized for the position you are applying for? If so, it shows you are going above and beyond – which is exactly what an employer wants to see in your very first work product.
Your resume is an indicator of how savvy you really are in technology. If you don’t know Word very well, it will be obvious by your resume. Your resume shows the employer how strong your basic computer skills are. Employers expect candidates to have solid skills in basic programs like Word. If you need to develop skills in this area, check out www.lynda.com for tutorials in a wide variety of software programs.
If your career involves design, communication or presentation, your resume will show your level of talent in those areas. Does your resume look good? Read easily? Is it well written? Remember, this is the first sample of your work that the employer is seeing.
If your resume has long sentences, big blocks of dense text, small margins and excessive use of italics, they won’t have much faith in your ability to communicate effectively and professionally.
Your resume is an executive summary. Craft your resume with the assumption that a senior executive (or a recruiter with 30 seconds) will be reading it. Don’t write your resume as a series of past job descriptions. Avoid the temptation to show the entire scope of what you’ve done over your career.
Employers aren’t impressed by the scope of what you’ve done; they are impressed by the relevance of what you’ve done. Eliminate fluff, obvious details, and anything totally unrelated to the needs of the company or position. Don’t tell the whole story; keep the details relevant (and save something to discuss in the interview).
Too much detail and fluff distracts the reader from catching your key selling points. A few missing details may be exactly what is needed to prompt a phone call to learn more about you – which is exactly the result you want.
Many people wonder why nothing happens after they send out a slew of resumes. Take a moment and assess your resume against these considerations. The resume says quite a bit about you as a candidate, so make sure it demonstrates what you truly bring to the table.