Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Resumé
Does your resume stand out? Will employers quickly see you are the one to do the job? In this post, you’ll learn the top five ways to improve your resumé.
According to a national survey of 600 hiring managers, your resumé has less than 15 seconds to capture an employer’s attention.
You must also incorporate effective keywords or the electronic search tools will never put you on the hiring manager’s screen.
Improve Your Resumé
So, let’s get your resumé in order. Here are the five tips for improving your resumé:
Emphasizing results was #1 with all surveyed employers. Accomplishments get attention, not just job descriptions.
State the action you performed, then note the achieved results. Include details about what you increased or decreased and use numbers to reflect, how much, how many, and percentage of gain or reduction. Stress money earned or time savings.
For example—”I managed a project implementing a new tracking system that resulted in a 17% decrease in cost overruns, saving the company $200,000.”
Vague and overly general resumés don’t cut it, employers say.
Target each resumé to the job you are seeking. Incorporate only the information pertinent to doing that specific job title.
This will alleviate the tendency to crowd your resumé with too much non-related information or too much detail on jobs more than 10 years in your past.
Also, start each sentence with a descriptive action verb, such as directed, organized, established, created, planned, etc., as they add powerful impact to your sentences.
Do NOT Lie!
A USA Today survey of executives stated that over 50% tried to exaggerate their skills, which was almost always uncovered during interviews and reference checks.
Lying resulted in candidates not getting the job, or worse, being fired once the fraud was revealed.
Employers are on the lookout for this misrepresentation, so be as positive as possible without exaggerating or misstating the truth.
Avoid Big Mistakes
The top mistake that annoys every manager and HR person is spelling mistakes and typos.
Many said, “I stop reading when I find spelling mistakes.”
Typos scream, “Don’t hire me.”
So, be sure and proofread manually. Don’t fully trust computer spell checkers.
Another mistake is cramming too much into a resumé and using microscopic fonts. This can result in your resumé never being read.
Make your resumé visually appealing on paper using fonts 11 or 12 point font sizes. Use concise sentences and adequate white space between points.
Many online resumé posting programs incorrectly read boxes and graphic designs causing unintentional page breaks, so be sure to avoid using these.
Also, be certain you only use Word or PDF format in any communications you send on to employers.
Is Your Resumé Getting You Results?
A well-developed resume is intended to get your foot in the door. Are employers or recruiters calling you for appropriate jobs that you are qualified for (not over or under) to perform?
If not, consider reworking your resumé or get professional help to improve it, since a great resumé is the prelude to landing a terrific job.
Mark James, CPC is the founder and president of Hire Consulting Services (HCS), established in 1999. HCS is a highly customized executive outplacement and career coaching firm for executive-level professionals. Recently published in 2018, Mark is the author of the best-selling book Keys to the C Suite: Unlock the Doors to Executive Career Path Success. He is equipped with over 25 years of experience in Executive Career Management Coaching, Outplacement and Executive Search Consulting. He has been a Certified Partner with Predictive Index® Behavior Assessments since 2016. He focuses on providing a proven and successful strategy and a structured process to fully enable his clients to conduct a professional job search campaign and with the singular goal of securing their next career opportunity in significantly less time it would take without a career coach. Clients gain a new perspective of their marketing value coupled with executing a strategic plan and closing the deal on their new role in their next job.