07 Aug You Are the Product – Make Your Résumé Sell
You there, job candidate, put yourself in the hiring managers’ shoes. What is he or she looking for? It’s a very competitive world out there so you need to stand out to be THE BEST! Strive for an excellent presentation and show yourself as the top candidate
Regardless of what your résumé says now, toss it and start over! Raise the quality bar, reach for excellence, and Cut the Crap, Get a Job!
Job candidate excellence can be defined by three major principles:
1. Easy to Find: Optimize the key words you use in your résumé and cover letter so that search technology can find you. What are “keywords?” They are the words that the technology uses to find appropriate candidates, usually words that describe the skills the hiring manager is looking for. In today’s new job search era, recruiters, screeners, employers, and others are fluent in the techniques and tricks of keyword searches. You should be too!
2. Easy to Read: Carefully format your résumé for viewing both online and in print. It must be easy to read, and good design makes it possible. Good design calls attention to key sections of your résumé, such as work experience and education. A well-designed résumé reflects positively on your skills. Sloppy or careless design may give a negative impression, even if you’re well qualified.
3. Easy to Measure: Quantify – give numeric proof of your brilliance! Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR managers are so tired of “world-class marketing person” or “exceeded targets in…” or “best in class performance.” You need to prove your results right in your résumé.
Job candidates tell me they will wait until the interview to share them or say, “My successes cannot be quantified.” Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Here is an example:
Before: Maintained accounts receivable and accounts payable.
After: Managed over 2,500 accounts receivable and accounts payable, working directly with the Chief Financial Officer.
It isn’t difficult to create a highly readable and attractive résumé. The table below lists some of the most important techniques.
|Technique||Why It’s Important|
|White space||Lots of white space makes text easier to read. Text that’s too dense may discourage time-pressed readers.|
|Bullets||Bulleted text allows you to break down complex information into readable chunks and to highlight key points.|
|Easy-to-scan headings||Your reader should be able to quickly locate key areas on your résumé, such as education, without extensive searching.|
|Limited number of fonts||Use no more than two font styles—one for headings and the other for body text. More than that is distracting.|
|Selective use of bold||Use bold carefully and consistently. For example, if you bold the name of one company you’ve worked for, do it in all cases.|
|No underlining (except links)||Reserve underlined text for web links. If you need to emphasize something, use bold.|
|Consistent spacing||Use a consistent amount of space before and after headings, between bullets, etc. This gives your résumé a uniform look.|
And please, please, stop using your own acronyms and terms; instead, speak the language of your target reader.
I want to help you win that interview! Here is a list of free resources to change your game! What do you think hiring managers want to see in a resume? If you hire people, what do you look for? Comment below!