Looking back over my posts of the past two years, I said to myself, ‘this stuff is awesome!’ Naturally, I’m biased, but I formed my assessment based on two things:
1. What I know works in resume-writing and,
2. The crap some so-called experts are putting out there. (Forgive my arrogance but I’m only stating truths.)
In reviewing the articles I’ve written, I realized that although each imparts excellent advice, some are too long. That’s because I’m a writer, I like writing, and I like sharing my knowledge. However, my readers don’t flock to my blog because the topics are fun and entertaining. My readers read my articles because they are looking for better ways to do an absolutely dreaded deed. There is nothing fun or necessarily engaging about reading up on writing a resume. So, in 2019 I’ll keep my posts short and sweet and, to kick things off, I have summarized two years worth of excellent resume-writing advice into the top seven must-haves for a winning resume. Here we go!
#1. Write for the employer. Don’t put anything on your resume the employer didn’t ask for. Read the job posting thoroughly and if you qualify to apply for the position, use the job posting’s keywords and key phrases in your resume and in your cover letter. Let the employer know you had him in mind while writing your resume.
#2. Show your relevance. Match your qualifications, work experience, attributes, and skills to those described in the job posting. This is key. A clear match is what the employer will be looking for quickly — make it easy for him to find it.
#3. Describe your qualifications and your skills separately. Look at the job posting. It will likely list required Qualifications (sometimes referred to as Requirements), and then something like Responsibilities or Duties or Skills. Provide your qualifications accordingly and provide skills within your descriptions of your accomplishments.
#4. Provide accomplishments, not laundry lists. Essentially, an accomplishment is something you did. Instead of listing the things you did in short, two-or-three-word bullet points, give descriptions of what you did, why you did it, and what the outcomes were.
#5. Show your common sense. Even though you may be perfectly matched to a job posting and do a good job of showing that clearly on your resume, you can blow it if you add things that don’t make sense to the employer. Ask yourself: ‘does it make sense to provide my completely irrelevant 15-year-old work experience?’
#6. Show respect, pride, and attention to detail. Make sure your resume and cover letter contain no mistakes—zero. That means impeccable spelling, grammar, punctuation, proper use of space, capital letters, font and bullet choice, formatting, and overall readability. This is critical.
#7. Remind yourself you have 3 opportunities. This isn’t something you put in your resume as much as it is a guideline you follow while writing your resume. This will help to ensure you keep it relevant and concise. Remind yourself you have three opportunities to describe your qualifications, your skills and experience, and why you’re a good fit for the job, etc. First, you’ll use the the resume, then you’ll have another opportunity to add additional information in the cover letter, and finally, you’ll have the opportunity of the interview. You decide, with common sense, where to put what so it makes sense.
So, there it is. The top seven must-haves/must-do’s for a winning resume. In case you hadn’t noticed, I mentioned the phrase ‘job posting’ several times. That’s because you can’t write a targeted, customized resume without a *job posting. Targeted, customized resumes are the only kind accepted and considered in most industries.
*When sending out unsolicited resumes, it’s imperative you research the companies you’re submitting to. This is accomplished through websites and numerous other methods that will ensure your resume will be relevant.
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer, I can develop a kick-ass resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, hiring an expert to write such an important document can make the difference between going to interviews and staying at home. As always, I invite your comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.