HOW TO WRITE A KILLER RESUME
To write a killer resume, put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. If you were faced with a pile of resumes, what would you want? Research shows that it takes about six seconds only for recruiters to make their initial judgement on a resume. And in cases where resumes are screened first by a computer, chances are it may not even get that far. So, if your “carefully prepared” resume isn’t getting you interviews for your dream job, it might mean your preparation is ineffective as far as winning interviews is concerned. What you need is a resume that sells you and gets you noticed in the right places, what you need is a killer resume. Writing a well-crafted resume is very important in landing you that interview for your dream job. In reality, for every available job out there in the real world, there are thousands of over qualified people applying and odds are, there are more than a few really killer resumes in that pile. So how do you make sure that yours stand out from the pile? That’s the purpose for this write up, it will show you how to stand out from the crowd, and also how to write a killer resume to help you land more interviews for your dream job.
Review your experience.
For fresh graduates and those who are writing their very first resume, job experience may be inadequate. And still, in reality, when it comes to impressing recruiters, its more about ” how ” your knowledge or unique skill set could relate to the job available than “what” you’ve done. For instance, according to Felix Tarcomnicu in his March 1, 2017 post, “if you’re applying for a job as an HR coordinator, you might want to focus on any part- time work experience that might be relevant, (like say working as a team leader at a fast food restaurant). What you need to do is take stock of the responsibilities that are relevant to the job of a HR coordinator:
– conducted daily meetings with service staff
– prepared and updated service staff training manuals
– managed training and orientation of new service staff
When reviewing your experiences, find common ground with what you did and requirements of the job you are applying for”
And its also really important to cut down on the adding of a lot of experiences and details. As difficult as it is to remove past achievements which you’re so proud of, it is recommended to maintain only the most recent work experience on your resume though this is usually not a big problem for fresh graduates who have little or no experience at all
Start out with a statement (objective)
Most recruiters will be eager to know who you are as a person and as a potential employee. So, contrary to common belief, recruiters are not only interested in what you can do. Your introduction statement will help the recruiter answer these questions. Does this person fit into the company culture? Is his/her personality and attitude a good match for the team? Your introduction statement should include information that parallels your career goals. This is the first thing a recruiter reads after your contact information at the top, so you need to ensure that it counts and gets the right kind of attention. It must be readable, short and concise with a maximum of three sentences long. Your objective should describe why you think you’re the best fit for the job. Your objective should explain who you are. Note that fresh graduates need not write a summary. Summaries are for people with experience. For a fresh graduate, a basic resume objective or some sort of resume statement is what is what you need in place. DON’T use a general career objective statement for all your applications. Also most importantly, this section isn’t about you, its about what you can give or be to the organisation. The less you write in this section, the higher your chances of getting attention. So, please keep your write – up to just a few sentences!
Use the functional resume format.
The functional resume format should highlight skills and expertise over work experience, following this arrangement
– header ( contact information )
– career objective statement
– skills and expertise
– certifications and trainings
Take note to ensure you highlight the skills and expertise that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
As Felix Tarcomnicu put it “If you plan to apply for a job in digital marketing, you should bring the following skills front and centre:
– SEO & SEM
– Social media
– Web design
– Google analytics”
Who is your audience?
To write a knock- dead resume you need to identify who your audience are. A resume is more than just a document that showcases your skills, experiences and accomplishments. It is also a marketing tool and should be well- crafted to sell you. Hence, as a marketing tool, you need to sell your capabilities and potentials. You need to make sure the content of your resume is targeted to the recipient: the company and its recruiter. So, before you fill for the job, ensure that you
– conduct a thorough research on the company, the company’s history, products and/ or services, its culture and recent developments. You need to ensure you run a background check to know everything that can be learned about the company. In doing so, you can then emphasize skills and abilities which most align with the company’s objectives and culture for the available job. What this means is that having gone through the job description you’re filling in for, and done a thorough research on the organization, you’ll be exposed to what the company needs from you as an applicant and you’ll also have a good idea of who their ideal employee is. So, it’ss over to you to give it to them by positioning yourself properly.
Quantify your accomplishments.
According to Felix, “it’s not enough to just state your accomplishments. You should look to quantify accomplishments with facts and figures. This will make the claim much more memorable for recruiters, and help the accomplishments stand out on your resume. For example, if you have experience with fundraising and social media. Use numbers to make your work stand out
– organised a fund raiser that raised $150,000 for charities
– increased engagement rate of company’s Twitter profile by 5%”
Another great resume tip from USA Today. “Go through your bullet points, and add as many numbers and percentages as you can to quantify your work. How many people were impacted? By what percentage did you exceed your goals?”
Quantifying your achievements and accomplishments will help you stand out. Whenever you write about your accomplishments, focus on numbers, did you secure several new accounts? How many? Did you help develop new products? How many?
Use action or power words. When writing a killer resume, use words that express action. By using the right action and power words, the recruiter will be compelled to read on, and that’s the idea! You want to keep the recruiter fixed on your resume. The best action and power words are those that are concise, clear, and direct. A few examples are given here;
Skills and achievement.
This is the section to focus 80% of your energy on. It is the section where you list and describe your skills and explain how its relevant to the job you are applying for. Here, you should also list out in a clear bulleted format, things you’ve accomplished which are relevant to the unique requirements of the job you are filling for. So, instead of saying, “I did task A&B for project K”, you could go, ” I did task A&B for project K which led to a 15% increase in annual sales in the year 2017″. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, which would impress you more? You can now see why making your accomplishments measurable is important?
In this section you can list both work and non – work related skills, so long as its relevant to the job you are applying for
The layout of a killer resume should look like this
† contact information: this should include your full names, phone number, contact address, email address and LinkedIn handle( if any)
† career objectives
† skills and achievements: this should be bulleted and quantified
† experience: starting from most recent with dates
† education: from most recent educational qualification with dates
† certifications and trainings: starting from most recent with dates
† interest: should reflect relevance to the job you’re applying for
When writing your achievement section, avoid the use of buzzwords like “planned strategies”, “managed teams”, “coordinated tasks”. Instead, you should focus on the results reached from tasks you undertook, so as to properly portray and demonstrate your value to the recruiter. For instance, writing “managed teams” won’t really help you stand out from the other applicants. Instead write and clearly describe what happened as a result of your efforts at “managing the team” get it? Try to make yourself and your resume stand out from other applicants by completely avoiding buzzwords.
Revise and edit.
As always, when you’re writing any important document, you need to proofread before submitting, so as not to run the risk of inserting errors. Look out for formatting inconsistencies like fonts and sizes, incorrect dates and titles or details. Neglecting these little things can cost you a job. After you must have cut down your writing to what’s relevant and most important, ensure the resulting thoughts and ideas are readable, and it shouldn’t be more than two pages long.
There you have it! What are your thoughts? Hope the article was helpful?
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