How to Write ATTENTION-GRABBING Resumes
If you are applying for jobs and sending out resumes, here’s a statistic you may find a little disconcerting – any resume only has about 10 seconds to make an impression on the hiring manager. This is assuming yours has first cleared the resume filtering software used by HR! This gatekeeper software is used to weed out resumes that don’t meet a certain level of matching keywords to the position. The resume must contain most, if not all, the keywords as posted for the position. So, before sending out any resume, scrutinize the job posting closely for keywords repeatedly mentioned.
Skills described in the posting (or on LinkedIn’s skills section for similar job titles) can help you determine keywords to use on your resume. Then, carefully prepare yours with a focus on including those keywords.
Assuming your resume has been crafted with the keywords for skills and experience that will allow it to sail through the filtering software and into the hands of the hiring manager, here are some tips to grab the manager’s attention and make his/her reading it a memorable experience that will last more than 10 seconds:
Keep your resume simple, but focused!
Don’t write an objective statement at the top of your resume! They are usually wordy, vague, and don’t get read anyway. Instead, write a short, direct professional summary that clearly illustrates your career focus. This one or two sentence statement should include your profession, how long you’ve done it, and your particular areas of expertise.
Remember those keywords
Without appropriate keywords, your resume will be electronically ignored. It will never make it past the resume filtering software, but instead be directed into a black void for rejection every time. So, match your skills and experience as much as you honestly can to the terminology (keywords) in the job posting. Those posted keywords are your blueprints to follow.
Make it easy on the eyes!
A person needs to be able to read and absorb your information quickly – remember the 10-second rule! So, avoid large blocks of text. Have lots of white spaces so bullet points stand out. And use simple fonts that are larger than 11 point.
Focus on those accomplishments!
Tell a story by highlighting your accomplishments throughout the resume – specific examples of how you solved universal problems such as saving time, cutting costs, improving performance and increasing customer satisfaction. (Provide specific, quantifiable details, i.e. “Saved the company over $40,000 annually in scrap reduction” or “Improved sales by 22% with a gross margin of 35%”)
But, don’t confuse accomplishments with responsibilities. List responsibilities in text format, but make your accomplishments stand out by use of bullet points. It’s the accomplishments that will illustrate the key transferable skills needed for the position. (They can read what you did; they need to know what you achieved!)
Make it brief, but powerful!
A two-page resume is certainly acceptable. If you need to have two pages, then highlight the top four or five most significant accomplishments in each position you have held.
There you have it.
Making these changes in your resume will maximize your chances of getting your’s read by the decision-maker who can give you a call for an interview. And isn’t that the purpose?
Be sure to contact us at Key Corporate Services for all your executive recruiting needs.