Your resume is often your one and only chance to impress an employer, and you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Make a great first impression with these 3 P’s:
The structure of your resume is so important. Recruiters will regularly receive hundreds of applications for one job posting, and the reality of the situation is that they just don’t have the time to go through every application with a fine-toothed comb; they must be mercilessly efficient with their culling. One study even suggests that it takes just six seconds for a recruiter to glance over your resume, so to pass the six-second test, ensure the placement of your information on the page is presented in a way that makes the recruiter’s job easy for them. Don’t make them go looking for critical information.
After your contact details of course, you should have an eye-catching professional profile or career summary at the top of the page which is essentially a quick blurb of who you are, your skills, experience and values. This section alone can determine whether recruiters choose to read on or not, so make it count.
If the position requires mandatory licences or qualifications, put that clearly near the top of the page too, so recruiters can easily see that you meet the baseline requirements of the role.
The structure of your work history should be in reverse chronological order, with references at the end. Some people are fooled into believing that a fancy, unique, gorgeously graphic designed document with all the bells and whistles will have you stand out from the crowd but it’s distracting – and not in a good way. Recruiters see right through the old trick of flashy colours over content. The tried and tested traditional format always wins out here – don’t make it difficult for recruiters to find the information they are looking for.
If ever there was a time to toot your own horn, a job application is it. However, so many people really struggle to talk about themselves and their achievements positively. I think it stems from a cultural issue, particularly in Australia, where from a young age we are taught humility and to downplay successes for fear of seeming arrogant. You’ve probably done it before, shrugging off proud moments with “oh it’s nothing, no big deal”.
Well your achievements, skills, capabilities and experiences are a big deal and you need to step up and promote them!
Did you streamline an internal process to create efficiencies of time or cost?
Did you identify an error which could have caused the company risk, of profit or reputation?
Did you blow your monthly sales target out of the water?
Well say it proudly and promote yourself!
Power words really pack a punch and this tip alone can elevate your resume from boring and blah to compelling, eye-catching and competitive.
What are power words you ask? These are powerful action verbs that describe your accomplishments and capabilities, such as initiated, generated, negotiated, enhanced, coached, established, influenced, you get the gist.
For example, rather than writing:
Answer phone calls from irate customers over their phone bill
Try writing this instead:
Negotiated satisfactory payment outcomes with telephone customers by empathetically listening to their concerns and providing solutions.
Doesn’t that sound SO much more appealing? If you’re interested in finding out more about how to write punchy powerful statements like this in your resume, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list here where you will receive the freebie “Uplevel your resume with this interview winning formula”. It steps out the exact method professional resume writers use for paying clients!
Small strategic changes = big impact. Go ahead and implement these 3 P’s in your own resume and you’ll be well on your way to a perfect stand-out resume (and let me know the result of course!).