When you are writing your job resume or as some refer to your career resume, you are writing a communications and marketing piece about yourself, so the main purpose is to capture and retain the recruiter’s or employer’s interest. Your resume is far more than a listing of your job experience. It’s basically an advertisement created to separate your self from others. Your resume should highlight your accomplishments and reflect your style or personality not only in substance or content but also in format. Think of your resume as a written self-portrait designed specifically to attract someone to want to meet a most interesting person…you.
Keep it simple and readable. Typically recruiters and employers will look at each resume for less than a minute. If your job resume is too busy or cluttered, it most likely will be passed over, filed or tossed. Your resume should be specific or tailored for the job or position you seek to obtain; hence you want to include marketable traits you possess that most closely match the description of the job or career you desire. These marketable traits include abilities, skills, and knowledge.
There are numerous styles and formats for job resumes. Books have been written regarding resumes that go into fine detail of do’s and don’ts. Technically they are informative and interesting, however they can also be overwhelming, boring and at times confusing or contradicting. The key is to keep it simple and no more than one page in length. Hence the format is important. It needs to look aesthetically appealing. The resume is simply an opportunity to receive a ticket to the show (interview).
Generally, a resume begins with a career objective, hence incorporate what you want to offer the position, and why your efforts will be fulfilling and satisfying. Keep in mind that the recruiter or employer is looking to satisfy a need they have in filling the position.
There is a saying that ‘ if the recruiter or employer wants to hire a green suit, then shine a green light on your self..” Your resume needs to present you as the prime candidate to fill the position.
During my career as a recruiter for my employer, and as an employer in my own business I was most interested in the following aspects of a resume:
- Job experience
- Positions held and responsibilities
- Time in position and longevity with each company
- Community involvement
Your accomplishments merit the most interest, hence using action verbs that demonstrate and illustrate creativity, ingenuity and productivity are powerful in influencing recruiters and employers.
Finally, at the end of your resume you might be tempted to indicate “ references available upon request”. Considering the goal of your resume is to differentiate your self from others, avoid using that common and low energy phrase, and change it to “ references will be provided to support my candidacy.” This not only conveys confidence, it also promotes differentiation in your style and presentation.
When you have completed your resume, ask people who truly know you to critique it in style and content. Once completed, your job or career resume can and will provide the ticket to opportunity.