Looking back over the past two years of posts, I said to myself, ‘this stuff is fantastic!’ 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 other so-called resume-writing experts are putting out there. (Forgive my arrogance but I’m only stating truths.)
In reviewing my articles 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 then your skills accordingly with clear headings separating the two.
#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 to ensure you keep it relevant and concise. Remind yourself you have three opportunities to describe you, your qualifications, your skills and experience, how and why you’re a good fit for the job, etc. There’s the resume, there’s the cover letter, and there’s the interview. You decide 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 and, targeted, customized resumes are the only kind accepted and considered in most industries.
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer I can develop a fantastic resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, there is no shame in getting an expert to write such an important document for you. And, as always, I welcome comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers. Cheers!