June 16, 2013
Many changes have taken place in the job search over the last few years. The résumé is one of the items that have changed. If you are using an old style format or information, it is likely the reader won’t go beyond the first section.
Making the right changes make your job search more successful. Here is a list of changes you should make so that your résumé is read. Your résumé has one mission, to get you an interview. If your résumé isn’t read, it won’t get you an interview.
Above the fold is prime real estate. Use your best information above the fold. Resume readers look at a résumé for only about 10 seconds. If you want them to continue reading beyond the fold, capture their attention in the first half because they won’t continue reading if they don’t find it interesting.
Objectives are out. The company doesn’t care what you want. They want to know what you can do for them. Give them a summary of your professional experience and skills.
List of every task you did at every job. The laundry list of tasks and duties doesn’t say anything about how well you did them. Tell them how what you did affected the bottom line—did you make or save money/time. Include achievements and metrics as dollar signs or as percentages. They will speak louder than words.
Lose the extra page. Although you don’t have to limit your résumé to one page, keep your statements short and to the point.
Use plenty of keywords found in the job posting. Your résumé will be submitted to a résumé database called an application tracking system. Your résumé will be scored according how it matches the job requirements by the keywords. The higher the score, the better are your chances of getting interviewed.
One resume doesn’t fit all. Gone are the days when you created one resume and had it copied to be sent to every job you apply for. Create a résumé for the job you are interested in, and then tweak it for each job by adding the keywords in the job posting. Also, use only relevant information. If what you have isn’t applicable to the job, take it out. If there is information pertinent to the job, add it.
Use a headline and branding statement. State the job title at the top of your résumé. Then add 2 or 3 sentences from the job posting that describe you, your skills and/or experience. I.e., Strategic Planner, Excellent Interpersonal Skills, Finance/Healthcare/Marketing/Manufacturing/Non-Profit, Project Management and Highly Motivated. This will set the tone for the rest of the résumé. Show them what makes you different, what you have achieved, your most remarkable personal trait, or what value you can give.
Make you resume readable for mobile devices. Many busy executives are reading resumes on smartphones or on tablets. A résumé created to be read on a computer screen won’t necessarily look good on a smaller screen. Consider the smaller screen when formatting your resume.
Include a QR code. A relevant resume that must be short and concise leaves out information that you want the reader to see. A QR code enables the viewer to be taken directly to an activity of your choice. Options are your LinkedIn profile, telephone number, website with samples of your work or your email address. The QR code shows you are tech savvy and not outdated.
Don’t let your résumé get tossed because you aren’t giving the information the reader is looking for. Standing out from the competition is essential. The information you give must show you are the best candidate for the job. Make the changes and you will get called for an interview.