Creating a resume that makes a great first impression is critical in today's very challenging job market. As thousands of job seekers are flooding the job market competing for jobs, job seekers need to be savy in marketing their skills and experience that stands out.
With over 20 years experience in human resources and recruitment I know first hand what works and what does not work. I've seen resumes with great skills and experience moved to the "No" pile because of simple spelling and format errors. Resumes that are too lengthy and wordy that loose the readers attention or fails to highlight critical skills and experience required for the position.
In this blog I'll breakdown seven critical components to develop a winning resume!
1. Develop a value proposition. This connects your skills and experience to the position. The value proposition conveys your skill and experience fit to the position your applying for. It says this is who I am and this is what I do in a short, succinct sentence. It tells recruiters and hiring managers why they should hire you over someone else. For example: "Skilled at developing customer service initiatives that drive quality and productivity..."
2. Focus on achievements and results. Hiring managers want to know what you achieved and the results of your achievements. For example: increased sales by 12% in 2018, developed retention strategies that decreased turn-over by 20% from 2017-2018, or increased patient satisfaction by 10%.
3. Outsmart the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). ATS narrows down resumes to the top candidates based on their skill and experience to the job posting. How do you outsmart the ATS? Your resume should match the words and phrases in the job posting. This will bring your resume to the top of the pile and get in front of the hiring manager.
4. Take time to reflect on your career, accomplishments, skills and your future career plan. Writing your resume is a great time to look back on your accomplishments, fine-tune your professional brand, and think about what sets you apart from other candidates. Employers want to know what your contributions have been in areas such as: making or saving money, saving time, making work easier, solving a problem, building relationships either internally or externally, expanding, attracting and/or retaining business/clients.
5. Spelling and grammar. The number one turn-off for hiring managers and recruiters is spelling and grammar errors. As you finalize your resume make sure there are NO spelling errors. Use spellcheck to correct errors. Use punctuation at the end of every sentence and capital letter starting a sentence. Ask a friend or family member to read your resume to check for errors.
6. Do NOT lie or embellish. Be aware that employers employers run extensive in-depth background checks and reference checks and will uncover lies. A common fib is embellishing skills or experience or stating they accomplished something they truly never did. Some go as far as adding in work experience for a company they never actually worked for. Make sure your resume accurately states your experience, skills, education.
7. Organized format and design elements that impress! The goal is to highlight your strengths, achievements, skills and experience in an organized format that captures your audience. This includes using bullets, applying visual patterns, writing impact statements.
Meet the author: Elizabeth Ushamirsky has over 20 years experience in career coaching and human resources. Helping people find jobs is her passion. She writes about job search, resumes, career solutions, and human resources. She is the founder of First Impressions Resume and Career Solutions. Learn more about First Impressions at: www.firstimpressionsjobcoach.com