Don’t let your resume fall flat. Here’s how you can leave employers with the right impression. [TWEET]
Whether your job search consists of networking events, responding to online posts or calling on companies for whom you’d like to work, the one constant (besides you, that is) is your resume; which will almost always be requested. There are several purposes for a resume, and a well written and professional one will serve each of them. Keep in mind that one of the purposes of a resume is not to land you the job. That is where you actually come in, but your resume is your trusty side kick who has prepared your way and made it possible for you to shine. So here are the primary purposes of a resume, and how you can ensure you are capitalizing on all of them to dazzle your future employer.
- Your resume says you can perform the functions of the job in question. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s not. It’s relatively easy to put down all the jobs you’ve had and what your responsibilities were in each. This does not, however, make it easy for your future employer to determine if you can perform their particular job. Hiring people is like having a huge jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece, and the candidates are each a piece. You want to show in your resume just how well you are matched to the position by reviewing the post and the company and ensuring all your skills and experience that are relevant to the position are highlighted. This is more work, but also will pay off abundantly.
- Your resume says you have up to date word processing and business writing skills. Unless you are applying for a job where no computer work is required (and there aren’t too many of those anymore) or where communication is unnecessary (ditto), your resume should reflect computer and communication skills commensurate with the current decade, at least. Besides being more visually appealing and readable, a resume whose sections are differentiated with fonts and/or borders, where there are bulleted tables outlining skills or accomplishments and one that is completely free from punctuation or grammatical errors speaks volumes about your candidacy.
- Your resume says you are successful. It’s not enough anymore to just list your responsibilities. Although it may be a reasonable assumption that you have been successful at those duties, what will truly dazzle your employers is if you show the results you have had and the impact you have made at previous jobs. Nothing predicts future behavior as well as previous behavior, so if you have a track record of growing revenue, creating a safety culture or increasing profitability, show it off! Use numbers! Brag a little…it will dazzle.
- Your resume says you have Integrity. Resist the temptation to over inflate your accomplishments. Savvy hiring managers, especially ones who have done the job for which you are applying, know what is expected, what is reasonable, and what is possible. If you are making an outrageous claim, make sure you also provide the backup or instead of dazzling your future employer, you may lose credibility.
- Your resume indicates your potential longevity at this job. Most employers are looking to invest in a candidate for the next three to five years at least. If you are just starting out, or if your job history shows a succession of short term (18 months or less) assignments, you may have to work a little harder to dazzle your future employer. If there were acceptable reasons outside your control for your moving on, include them. If circumstances have changed, mention it. Do your due diligence at helping your future employer understand why you’re the one to invest in for the future.
At the end of the day, your resume's main reason for existence is to get you the interview where YOU can really dazzle your future employer, so make sure you have polished it to perfection and then let it shine!