By Faye Katz, Resume Writer
Resumes play a small, but extremely significant part in the job search. While the resume won’t land you a job, it will allow you to be included in the race and it can result in the opportunity to meet with hiring personnel. The goal of a resume is to get the interview. Period.
Ultimately, the combination of a person’s experience, skills, presentation at the interview and fit for the company will be the main factors contributing to landing the job.
Whether you are a first time job seeker or looking to make a career change, how can you ascertain that your resume will stand out in the crowd and be placed at the top of the pile?
In today’s economy, it’s not enough to present a resume free of grammatical errors or syntax inconsistencies. Nowadays, employers are looking for something else. They are seeking the candidate who can add value to their company, at virtually every level.
Previously, resumes documented an individual’s daily duties, skills and responsibilities. Today, resumes speak mainly of achievements, accomplishments and results.
For example, an administrative assistant would typically list job duties such as: “Greeted clients, answered phones, scheduled appointments, performed accounts payable and ordered supplies for a busy office.” Today, it would be beneficial to include: “Expedited work flow by implementing a computerized system; significantly decreased order processing time.”
As you start to compose your resume, think about these key questions:
- Is there anything you have done for the company above and beyond your job description?
- What are some of your accomplishments or achievements?
Here are a few tips before you roll up your sleeves and begin to write your resume:
- Consult a professional resume writer to help you position yourself and write a dynamic resume.
- If you choose to do it yourself, make sure to research the latest trends in resume writing (which change every 3-4 years) by looking at current books or guides.
- Replace “Objective” with a summary or career highlights.
- Omit “References Upon Request” and “Personal Information.”
- Focus on achievements and results.
- Use strong action verbs to begin each sentence/bullet.
- Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.
- List only jobs you’ve held in the past 10-15 years.
In the new marketplace, employers are seeking the employee who will be an asset, who can and will make their company more profitable, productive or cost efficient. Armed with a good resume, you stand a much greater chance of being interviewed. If all the other variables line up, you are likely to succeed in getting the job.
By Faye Katz, Resume Writer, Career Services, Jewish Community Services, Baltimore, MD