The right resume for any position is easy to write once you know what the reader needs to hear.
The problem with over 99% of all resumes is they are written with what the writer wants to say.
Now, this may seem like a small difference, but then why do so many resumes end up in the circular filing can? And why do so many job applicants feel so frustrated because they never hear back about a resume and application they’ve sent?
Forbes recently reported that the average number of people who apply for any given job is 118. Only 20% get an interview. They also reported that many companies use talent-management software to screen resumes, weeding out over 50% of applications before any person ever looks at a resume or cover letter!
These statistics reinforce my contention that people write what they want to say, not what the company needs to hear. This includes focusing on responsibilities, and not sharing accomplishments.
Your resume is really a marketing document. So, market your strengths, don’t sort of mention them in passing.
Imagine COKE® advertising:
12 ounces per can
For 30 seconds, this is all you see on your screen. How long would it take you to change the channel?
Many resumes that list responsibilities look like this (or, as my Mentor Jay Block says, ‘they look like an obituary’). Organizations want to know what results you can deliver.
They are not as interested in what you did, but how you did it.
During an interview, my clients use STAR’s to showcase their accomplishments, showing their HOW. On a resume, you want to focus on specific results, adding numbers and being as specific and detailed as possible.
As you put these specific, measurable accomplishments (STAR’s) on your resume, make note somewhere of the story that goes with it. Then, in the face-to-face interview, you can share your STAR and give the interviewer a way to remember you over everyone else.
In my 35+ year management career, I have read over 5,000 applications and resumes and conducted thousands of interviews. This “other side of the desk” experience has given me first-hand experience of what “sells” on your resume.
What sells are your accomplishments.
Maybe you are doing Award winning work. I do National Career Fair Events where I set up a table and spend 5 to 10 minutes with job seekers that attend, giving them tips about their resume. I learn so much from these events.
I have a poster of the first page of the resume below at my table. A young lady, who was next in line, handed me a copy of her resume and stated, “I’m award winning!”
I said “great, show me where it says that on your resume?” She took the resume back and spent almost 4 minutes reviewing the fine-print (there was very little white-space and it looked like she was trying to cram her entire life story into two pages in a font so small … you get the picture).
In the end, she found the mention of her award-winning activity at the bottom of page two. No Hiring Manager was ever going to know that important fact about this person, because they were never going to read enough of the fine print to get to the bottom of page two.
SO, to write a resume that will get read, that will make the hiring manager want to pick up the phone and call you, so they can learn more
YOUR RESUME NEEDS TO BE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM.
Take a look at this example …
My favorite tactic is to take the job posting my client is looking at and pull out all the bullet points: (for example)
- Minimum 4-year degree required
- 7+ years direct experience in multi-channel direct response fundraising programs
- Manage budgets, production schedules, and external vendors
This is what the hiring manager wants to be sure you have done when they read your resume. They are thinking “do you have what we are looking for?”
With my clients, we craft targeted Six-Second-Resumes™ that are so specific, I say it is like “giving the reader the answers to the test.”
- Must have 4-year degree. “Oh, I see they have a master’s degree.”
- Must have 7+ years’ experience. “Wow, this person has been doing this for over 10 years.”
Very soon, the hiring manager is so interested that they want to learn more, and they are picking up the phone to call and set up a face-to-face interview.
As you can see in the example, the resume is not crowded. There is a lot of white space. The eye floats between sections without straining and trying to understand what is being said.
It is very clear we are dealing with an Award-Winning Health Care Professional. We also see the name and the position title together. Subconsciously, the two are being linked by the reader.
So now the reader is thinking “Clarissa Clarke, Award Winning Acute Pediatric Registered Nurse.” She’s just what I need!
In the end, a professional resume writer should be able to deliver this type of focus and attention to your resume. I am proud to say I have been told many times that I provide this type of professionalism.
There are other elements of a resume that land the interview, but for those to be a factor, your resume must make it past the screening and into the hands of a Hiring Manager. The best way to do that? MAKE IT ABOUT THEM.
Want to Learn Even More?
Our email subscribers have access to every tool they’ll need to land their dream job. Subscribe to Six-Second-Resumes™ today …