Each week, I sit in recruiting meetings and listen to hiring managers’ reasons for choosing not to interview qualified job candidates. The fact is that many candidates, regardless of qualifications, don’t get called for an interview because their resumes aren’t concise and don’t give employers a clear idea of the value they can bring to an organization. Here are four insider tips for rewriting your resume to help you stand out from the sea of applicants and make the right first impression.
Focus Your Message
Not only should your qualifications meet the job requirements, your resume should reflect your passion for the job you’re applying for and the overall field. To convey this genuinely, it’s important to identify the aspects of your career that you are most passionate about and how they relate to the job you’re seeking. It’s also important to have a clear career vision and purpose statement. You can determine your vision by thinking of ways your career can help you make a larger impact on the world. Clearly defining your career’s vision, purpose, and passions will also help you target your search to employers and jobs that are the best fit for you.
Tailor Your Resume for Each Job Opportunity
Recruiters can often easily spot someone who’s submitting the same generic resume for every job. Your resume is a potential employer’s first impression of you. So, if necessary, take some time to review your resume and tailor it to the job you’re seeking. If you’re targeting the appropriate jobs for your qualifications and career goals, this should only require minor tweaks and not a major rewrite.
Most people use the first section of their resume to summarize their career and highlight relevant skills and experience. Give this section a little something extra by incorporating more of what you represent as an individual. Consider replacing the career objective with something more meaningful like your personal career-related vision or purpose statement. Instead of just listing your relevant skills, connect them to your job-related passions so the person reviewing your resume gets a stronger sense of your enthusiasm and interest in the job.
Don’t Just List Job Duties
The work experience section of your resume should not just be a list of the job duties you’ve performed. Instead, use this section to highlight your most important job-related achievements. If you saved the company money or finished a project ahead of schedule and under budget, these are things potential employers want to know. Ideally, the accomplishments listed on your resume should represent things that you really enjoyed doing and that produced the best results. Be sure to use specific amounts or percentages to increase your chances of catching a potential employer’s attention.