Colette Sibylle April 4, 2021 Resume
Spend the Most Time on the Most-Read Part of Your Resume – Contrary to what you might think, the most-read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your Profile or Experience Summary. If your resume is missing this section, you are losing your best opportunity to create interest. It used to be common to put an Objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Objective section. Why? It is a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an Executive Summary for a reviewer where you clearly point out why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don’t generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.
Write About Your Results, Not Responsibilities – Don’t let your resume make the mistake of focusing on your previous jobs’ responsibilities. Your resume should focus on the computer programming work that you did and what you achieved. As a hint, avoid using the word responsibility or responsibilities on your resume so you don’t fall into this trap.
Note that both sentences convey the same meaning. However, the second sentence is more active. That is, the subject of the second sentence (this approach) actually did the action (performed). In the first sentence, the subject is the same (this approach), however the verb (was) does not convey direct action. Try your best to make your sentence convey action by using action verbs. If you are struggling in this area, you may wish to consider working with a professional resume writer for help.
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
As I mentioned earlier, do not assume that a resume reviewer will be familiar with various terms and concepts that could substitute for the ones in the position announcement. That may or may not be true. Best advice is to use the potential employer’s terminology from the job posting since that is most likely what reviewers will be looking for. Again, do not assume that the initial reviewers are familiar with the technology involved with the position. They may not be. Be very clear that you meet all of their requirements by ensuring that your technical skills summary, experience summary, and experience details all generously use the correct keywords for the position you are seeking.
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