7 Things You MUST Do To Have A Winning Resume
Tip #1 — You absolutely must have an Accomplishment-Based Resume. 99% of people create what’s called a duty-based resume. This type of resume lists out the day-to-day responsibilities and usually starts with a bullet point that sounds like this: “Responsible for”…
If you’re using a resume like this it’s likely one of the biggest reasons why you’re not getting the job offer you REALLY want.
Hiring managers want to know what you accomplished in each one of your positions. Not to sound mean, but they don’t care what you did on a daily basis.
To create an Accomplishment-Based Resume, start with your most recent position and think through what you accomplished in this role during your time with the company. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes for a minute and think like a boss.
What questions would they ask when reading your resume and what answers would they love to see?
When creating your bullet points use action verbs to describe your work and numbers whenever possible. Hiring managers love numbers! And your eye is naturally drawn to them on a resume full of words.
And if you get stuck, think in terms of what you made, saved or achieved. What did you work on that made the company money? What did you do that saved the company money? And finally, what did you accomplish in your role?
You only need somewhere between 4–6 bullet points for each of your positions. The other great advantage to listing out your accomplishments is that it will likely ensure that you don’t create more than a two page resume.
Creating this Accomplishment-Based resume is likely the biggest and best improvement you can make to your resume right now. It’s a great way to shine a huge spotlight on your achievements and ensure that you stand out from the 99% of people who still use a duty-based resume.
Tip #2 — Don’t put anything in the header/footer. When you apply to a position your resume goes into the company’s Automated Tracking System (ATS). Most ATS’s can’t read anything that’s in the header or footer of a document so if you want to be found it’s best to avoid using them all together.
Instead, put your contact information in the body of your document. You can still list it at the top, just don’t put it in the header. Avoid the header and footer at all costs!
Tip #3 — Cater your resume to each position you’re applying to. I know it takes more work, but you need to read through each job description to get a better understanding of the key responsibilities and keywords. Once you have this information use keywords in your resume to improve your chances of landing an interview.
So many companies are overwhelmed with the huge volume of resumes that come in that they’ve started using software that searches them and pulls out only the ones with certain keywords. Make sure your resume has the important keywords mentioned in the job description.
Tip #4 — Don’t try to do too much with your resume. This might sound like it’s going against everything that I said above, but I’ve noticed that too many people try to create a “perfect” resume. And once they have attained this masterpiece they are quite reluctant to change it.
Understand that your resume serves only one purpose: to get you an interview. That’s it.
And please don’t cram in too much information. If you stick with the first tip above and go with an Accomplishment-Based Resume you won’t have to worry about this.
Tip #5 — Absolutely NO mistakes! You should have a minimum of 3 people proofread your resume to catch any mistakes or inconsistencies. And my philosophy when it comes to grammar is to be consistent throughout your resume. So if you use a period at the end of your bullet points be sure you do it on ALL of your bullet points.
I’ve seen several hiring managers pass on a person because of typos on their resume. It might seem petty, but the saying is true:
“How you do one thing is how you doeverything.”
Tip #6 — Make it incredibly easy for people to contact you. That means making sure you hyper-link your email address so all they have to do is click on it and a new email will pop up. Don’t make it so they have to copy and paste your email address into a new email.
Give them just two ways to reach out to you. One email address and one phone number are usually enough. Keep it simple.
You should also add a link to your LinkedIn profile to make it easier for them to track you down. And be sure to hyper-link it so they don’t have to copy and paste. I know it sounds petty, but the easier you make it the better off you’ll be.
Tip #7 — Leave off the Objective Statement. The top of the resume is prime space and you don’t want to waste it with a generic statement about how you are “searching for a new position where you can help the company achieve their goals.”
Use this space instead for something more valuable that speaks directly to your experience and why they should hire you. It’s best to stay away from using an objective statement, but if you’re adamant about keeping it be sure it speaks directly to the position you’re applying to.
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