Is your resume holding you back?

Is your resume holding you back

Are you applying to tons of jobs with no luck? Getting no calls and no emails? It could be your resume!

Here are a few guidelines that I feel will help you get noticed. You have very little time to make an impact with your resume, so making sure it is in tip-top condition has to be a priority. If it isn’t, you are letting yourself down.

Information Overload Is Not Necessary

Leaving information off of your resume does not necessarily have to go against you, as long as you are not intending to mislead. You can easily use this information to add value later. Either in your covering letter or at an interview. Even putting it in the follow-up email is an option. I mean, you are following up, RIGHT?

Understand that when it comes to your resume, less is definitely more.

Here are six quick and simple ways to shorten your resume and make it stand out:

List Pertinent Contact Information Only

No one needs to know your home address. Including street name and door number is just not necessary. No one is sending you a letter. Any potential employers will communicate with you by phone and email. Not via snail-mail.

If you are considering local opportunities list the city and province/state in which you live. If you have decided that it’s time to relocate, you might even consider leaving that information off too. This will help to eliminate concerns over whether you are serious about moving. (If an employer wants to know where you are located, they can easily check out your current position).

Short And Sweet

Most professional summaries are too long. Two or three sentences that capture your skills and experience and how they translate into what you want to do next is perfect. Help the reader to connect the dots.

This is your first opportunity to tell the reader who you are. Your digital handshake, if you will. Too much information here, and the reader may lose sight of your value and, in turn, may not see your true value. Tell people what you want them to know most about you.

Be objective. Try to avoid using words like “hard-working” or “enthusiastic” in your professional summary. They up valuable space and, contrary to belief, may undermine what you are trying to say. Put simply, the more objective you are, the more impressive you will look.

Accomplishments, Not Job Descriptions

All to often I find that the work history contains nothing but job descriptions. Try to focus on your accomplishments in the role, not all that the role entailed. Remember, if the point you are making is likely to be on someone else’s resume, it’s not a point, it’s a job description. Something that anyone in that position is capable of. It is not an accomplishment specific to you.

Bullet Points Rule The Day

Large paragraphs can be difficult to digest quickly, and hiring managers are usually busy. Not least because they are short staffed, and having to hire as well as keep up with their day-to-day duties. Unfortunately, some potential employers will review your resume in 30 seconds or less. Bullet points make information quick and easy to digest.

By having paragraphs of text you run the risk of scaring off the reader. Make it easy for them to digest the information quickly and accurately.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Numbers help the reader to better understand your achievements. They can effectively outline your accomplishments. Putting “achieved 115% of annual target in 2017” is a whole lot easier to digest than saying, for example, “achieved and exceeded annual sales goal via strong relationship management and the ability to effectively identify prime business opportunities.” Numbers concisely define your accomplishment. They do not leave anything for the imagination. There is no chance of misinterpretation, or of the reader falling into a catatonic state because they just read “achieved and exceeded annual sales goal via strong relationship management and the ability to effectively identify prime business opportunities.” for the thirty-first time today!

Great, You Have Basic Skills Too!

Honestly, your proficiency with general computer programs like Microsoft Outlook is assumed. In our modern business world, you are expected to know how to navigate common programs. If you don’t, I would respectfully suggest that you get some training. Instead, you should be sharing technical skills and proficiencies that are more specific to the role you are applying for.

So, when it comes to your resume, less is definitely more in my opinion. Resist the urge to cram in tons of information. Allow whoever is doing the reading to appreciate what you have to say about you. And if you leave pieces of information out for the sake of brevity and professionalism, use it later. It will continue to add value and keep the conversations flowing.

If you haven’t reviewed your resume lately, it’s time. When you are done, ask a non-biased person to review it for you, with a critical eye. Your recruitment specialist will be happy to help. If they aren’t, you seriously need to find a new recruiter.

Leave a Reply