Are you in career transition, have a job but are looking to change employers or on the verge of a promotion? Enhancing your resume can help you progress to the next stage in securing your dream career. Effective resumes provide recruiters and Human Resources professionals with a reason to invite you in for an interview. The best ones typically include the following:
- keywords that match those on the job description,
- the scope of your previous responsibilities, and
- quantifiable results that entice recruiters to want to learn more.
Especially in today’s economy, recruiters and other HR professionals are constantly inundated with as many as hundreds of resumes for one position. To save time, organizations explicitly state what they are looking for in their job descriptions. They are trained to look for specific keywords when narrowing the list of viable candidates. To increase the chances of yours reaching the top of the heap, take the company’s job description and select seven to 10 keywords that are important to or are repeated in the description. Tailor your resume to that company and that job by using those keywords throughout your resume to best explain your valuable experiences.
The “Experience” section of strong resumes speaks not only to how well something was done, but also to the quantifiable scope of the work. As a recruiter, it is much easier to form a mental picture of an applicant’s experiences if she/he says “managed a project team of 12, with a $250,000 budget…” versus “managed a project team”. Explain experiences in such a way that a recruiter can understand the breadth and depth of your work and envision you in the role before she meets you.
Quantifying results of one’s work can be difficult, but it is very important. A strong bullet point on a resume begins with a past tense action verb, describes the action taken, and details the impact of that action. An average bullet point may be: “increased annual sales”. A strong bullet may be: “increased annual sales by 25% year-over-year, exceeding stretch targets and securing $500,000 of new revenue.”
I recently spoke to a recruiter for one of the largest employers in the state of Arizona. The organization receives over 500,000 applications for fewer than 8,000 job openings annually. Use the above tips to help your resume get the recruiter’s attention and give her no option but to schedule you for an interview for your dream career.