Joya Marie April 3, 2021 Resume
One of the first misconceptions that people hold about the use of resumes is that they are never actually read, especially when there are online application forms to be filled out. While this cannot be proven either way, I do know from my own experience as a professional writer that most recruiters do look at the resumes received because it provides a general overview of the candidate’s attention to, or lack thereof, details such as the style and type of writing.
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.
Another important decision that has to be made about the development of a resume is the format it should follow and the most common approach is use of a chronological style. This approach lists each job in chronological or date order and the most current job is listed at the top of the page. The inherent problem with this type of resume is that the focus is placed on what the candidate is doing now without drawing attention to the skills that have been acquired throughout their entire career.
Next step, create a bulleted list of accomplishments in each position using the C-A-R method. For each bullet, follow the C-A-R formula: indicate a Challenge you faced, followed by the Action you took, and identify the Results of those actions. You must ensure that the achievements you include are relevant and significant so that a reviewer won’t read it and say ”who cares.” This is so important. Those who write resumes for a living are very skilled at wording these achievements to sound very impressive and make them relevant.
Offer Proof for Your Statements – The old adage that finding a job is a job holds true. The burden is on you to prove to a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To do this, you must build your case from the ground up. This means you need to offer proof for every statement you make. For example, if you say you have 6 years of experience with Java programming or accounts payable, an employer should be able to go one-by-one through your position write-ups on your resume and identify those 6 years by themselves.
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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