Resume Writing Made Simple: Here’s How

Resume Writing: Are you sending out your resume and not getting interviews? These tips will help you write a resume that attracts interviewers.

A Winning Resume Compels the Reader to Interview You.

Resume Writing Made Simple: Here’s How

The fact is that most people don’t read your resume.  If they look at your resume at all, they spend 5 or 6, maybe 10 seconds to scan your resume before deleting it.

By writing a simple, effective resume, you will not only increase how many people read it; you will have a useful tool.  You can use the dates from your resume to complete job applications.  If you keep your resume simple, you can easily revise your resume to fit different jobs.

Accomplishments versus Experience

Experience Counts but Accomplishments Count More.

Here are three examples of how to word a resume loaded with accomplishments:

Increased sales 10% by setting a deadline for the purchases.

Reduced costs 15% by requiring competitive bids from suppliers.

Built customer base 25% through increased cold calls.

Remember to emphasize achievements and not just tasks or the name of the positions you held.

Simple, powerful format that holds the reader’s attention

Keep your resume simple.  Follow the most popular format.  Here is the format most people use.

Your contact Information first: Name, phone number, email

List your most recent jobs next.  Include the dates of these jobs.  In addition to accomplishments, include skills that match the job requirements the employer listed in the job specifications.  Use bullets to list your accomplishments.

Close your resume with your education.  Include any academic accomplishments or recognition.

Killer Cover Letter

[Name of Person]:

The purpose of this email is to submit my resume for [name of position].

I have a car and live locally to your position. I am available for employment immediately.

May I provide you with additional information on my experience?

Thank you for reviewing my resume,

[Your Name]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your email address]

Cut out the deadwood.

Hobbies, references, compensation, long paragraph, details on jobs with well-known functions, details on jobs that date back in time are examples of deadwood.

Other examples include an objective or a summary at the top of your resume.

Resume Headlines and Why They Matter

Headlines sell the story

Resume Headlines and Why They Matter

“Writing headlines is a specialty – there are outstanding writers who will tell you they couldn’t write a headline to save their lives.” – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Bill Walsh

Resumes headlines are also known as resume titles.  They serve several purposes.  Here are two of them.

First, they raise the number of times your resume appears in keyword searches.   This purpose is critical to ensuring that hiring managers even find your resume on the Internet or in their database.

Second, in a glance, the hiring manager or the recruiter can decide whether to take time to read your resume.  In most cases, resume readers do little more than glance at resumes before deciding to read them.

Headlines in the Resume Objective

A good place to insert the headline is in the objective statement.  Headlines should be at the top of the resume.  Resume writers put the objective at the top of the resume.

Headlines in the Summary of Experience

A headline should be concise.  Overloading a resume with an objective plus a summary of experience is not wise.  It could discourage hiring managers and recruiters from reading your resume.

If you are going to use either as a headline for your resume, I recommend that you use a summary of experience.  A hiring manager or a recruiter will make a decision to interview based on your experience.  They usually infer that your career objective matches their interest by the mere fact that you have applied for a specific job.

Writing attention-getting resume headlines just got a lot easier.

Writing great headlines is not always easy.  Some people have special skills for writing the headline in media.  In many cases, media companies leave the headline writing to the copy editors.  To repeat the opening quote, “Writing headlines is a specialty – there are outstanding writers who will tell you they couldn’t write a headline to save their lives.”

However, here is a simple tip for word selection for your resume headline.

In a very straight forward fashion, just copy the job title and other wording from the job description.  Then paste the same wording into your resume headline. When hiring managers or recruiters are doing resume searches, they are logically looking for wording that matches the wording of their job description.

Headlines sell the story.  Let a great one sell your story.

The Simple Way to Write a Killer Resume

Why most people don’t read your resume. www.jaywren.com

The Simple Way to Write a Killer Resume

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.  It follows that, unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man

During the three decades I worked as a recruiter, I scanned thousands of resumes.  I say scanned, because I spent less than ten seconds looking at most of these resumes.

Hiring managers and recruiters don’t actually read most resumes.  Resumes must grab the reader’s attention.  They must compel the reader to read them.

If they don’t, hiring managers and recruiters just don’t read them, and, if it’s your resume, you don’t get an interview.

I contracted with over a hundred hiring companies, and I received positive and negative feedback on resumes.  Here are three things I learned.

Accomplishments

State what you did as accomplishments.  For example, don’t simply say that you did A, B, and C.  Say that you accomplished #1, #2, and #3 by doing A, B, and C.  You will increase the impact of your resume and separate yourself from other people who just list job titles.

Simple Format

Layout the resume in a simple format with the most important information at the top of the resume.

Keywords

Use keywords. These are words that will show up in a resume search.  These words are job titles, names of companies and products, names of skills, names of schools, certificates, degrees, etc.

Here is a simple format.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION
Your name
Street address
City, State Zip
Home phone
Cell phone
Email address

OBJECTIVE AND SUMMARY
Stating an objective or a giving a summary at the beginning of the resume is common practice.  Stating an objective or providing a summary is optional.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY 
There is no sentence structure in a resume.  The wording in a resume is simply a series of statements of actions and accomplishments.

For example, this is a sentence: I doubled the company’s sales in 6 months.
This is resume wording: Doubled company’s sales in 6 months.

The history in a resume is just a list that includes employment periods, performance, skills, responsibilities, accomplishments, and education.

(Most recent job first)
Company Name; company Location, From –to
Most recent title, Location, From – to

Use bullet format.
•        List things you have accomplished.  Do not waste space on your just giving a job description.  List things that showed that you made a difference in the positions you held.
•        Use facts—for example, exceeded assigned sales goal by 30%, reduced costs, promoted people, saved time, increased productivity, etc.
•        Employers and recruiters search their databases for specific words, so list successes with specific industry words or functions.  Include the real name of your product categories, product names, sales accounts, functions (e.g., Profit & Loss, Market Research or Software Names, New Product Development, Market Insights, Innovation), etc.

Next List Previous Titles at this company and again list successes and accomplishments in bullet format.

Then include Previous Companies going back in time from most recent.

EDUCATION
Normally, education goes at the bottom of the resume.  People who have recently received an educational degree or credential that alters their employability might consider putting education at the top of the resume.

Other items that might go at the bottom of the resume are awards, extra skills, volunteer work, or perhaps some relevant college employment.

HOW TO SHORTEN YOUR RESUME FOR READABILITY

Avoiding the following items might make the difference whether a hiring manager reads your resume.

Objective
Summary
Hobbies
References
References available on request
Compensation
Long paragraph formats
Long-winded discussions of core responsibilities
Too many details on jobs with well-known functions
Details on jobs that date back in time
Paragraph formatting
Third person reference

More Career Articles
Building Professional Relationships Everywhere
Are you a card collector?
Resumes for Managers
Resumes for Recent College Graduates

8 Biggest Resume Mistakes

Resume Mistakes
8 Biggest Resume Mistakes:  A resume reader spends six seconds deciding whether to throw a resume away.

Lydia Dishman, writing for Fast Company, has the following takes based on an interview with a former Google recruiter,

“What can land a resume in the discard pile ranges from improper formatting to incorrect grammar and spelling. Google applicants [for that matter, all applicants] run the gamut, from very professional to people who couldn’t string together a full sentence, Bacon observes. We sat down with him recently to get an expert’s opinion on worst practices. Here’s what he told us.”

Source: A Former Google Recruiter Reveals The Biggest Resume Mistakes | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Image: webtreats/Flickr

Perfect Resume and No Job Interviews

Desktop Full of Papers

Perfect Resume and No Job Interviews? This article will help you understand why.

The submitted resume pile is actually not the first (or second or third) place that recruiters look for candidates. These five competitors are why your perfect resume still isn’t leading to job interviews.

Source: Five Reasons Why Your ‘Perfect Resume’ Still Isn’t Leading To Job Interviews – Forbes

Image Bilboq

The Lies We Tell On Resumes

Infographic: The Lies We Tell On Resumes.  According to BackgroundChecks.org, people lie on their resumes and companies report catching these lies.  How employers view lies depends on the nature of the lie and how much the employer likes the candidate.

I have seen job seekers lose job offers when background checks showed either information that the job seekers lied about or information that they just left off their resume.  This infographic will help you understand what you might expect when you lie on your resume.

Resume Lie Statistics

The Lies People Tell to Get a Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compliments of BackgroundChecks.org

Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Employment Gaps on Your Resume

If you have employment gaps on your resume, you are not alone.  It is not usual for job seekers to have employment gaps.  People take a year off work to travel.  Some people have these employment gaps from periods of recession.  In other cases, job seekers have been in a situation where the need for their skills was very low.

In other cases, job seekers have taken off to take care of their family.  In some cases, job seekers have gone through personal problems, such as depression or drug addiction.

There is no way to know how an employer will view gaps in your employment.  Each employer may view gaps in experience differently.

When you write your resume, you might omit the dates of the unemployment and omit the explanation for a gap in your employment.  If the question comes up in an interview, simply say in a short statement why you have the gap in your employment.  Write and rehearse giving an answer that is true, believable, and completely provides an explanation for your absence.  For example, if you took a year off to travel, you might simply say, “I had the money and the opportunity to travel places I would not likely be able to see if I waited to visit them.”

Effective employer recruiters will notice the omission of the dates of unemployment and will often not ask you about these gaps until you have an interview.

Qualifications

Typically, the first thing that an employer looks for are your qualifications.  If you have strong qualifications for a job, an employer might disregard the gap in your employment on your resume and invite you in for an interview.

You will find greater success by being selective about the jobs for which you apply.  If you send out hundreds of resumes to companies that have no need for your experience, you will have few interviews relative to the number of jobs for which you apply.  The fact that you have a gap in your experience will have little bearing on your getting a job when you are not qualified for that job in the first place.

Therefore, write your resume to show how your qualifications fit the job opening.

Image: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr