Preparing The Professional Resume

3 11 2014

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What is the Purpose for your Resume?

  • To get the reader’s (usually a recruiter) positive attention and gain their interest,
  • To highlight to the reader how you match the requirements and expectations of the job,
  • To get the interview!

How Do You Get the Reader’s (Recruiter’s) Attention and Get an Interview?

Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (like Taleo) that recruiters use to gather resumes in a database and search that database using specific keywords and phrases and a variety of variables such as specific college degree(s), # of years of experience, and other criteria to screen you in or out. Each job posting attracts literally hundreds or even thousands of applicants, and therefore, the recruiter needs to reduce the number of resumes viewed as s/he does not have an endless amount of time to read resumes. These systems have become more sophisticated, and recruiters have added greater demands on the applicant to answer a series of in-depth questions in addition to uploading your resume. It can take 1 to 2 hours to apply for a single job online.

So, how can you increase your chances?

  • Tailor your resume to the specific requirements and responsibilities of the position.
  • Include the relevant keywords and phrases throughout.
  • Use a specific title (or titles) that match the position(s) you’re seeking, whenever appropriate.
  • Write a Summary section that emphasizes the most important experience, accomplishments, educations and skills.
    • Avoid using fluffy and meaningless language that focuses on vague soft skills (“self-motivated”, “dynamic”, “goal-oriented”) or vague experience (“financial leader”, “marketing professional”).
    • Be specific and emphasize the real experience, and if you include soft skills, back them up with examples.
  • Highlight your most significant and relevant accomplishments (include #’s whenever possible) and showcase the actual results, and not just the action(s) you performed.
  • Keep your resume to two pages (with a few exceptions). You can attach an addendum, when appropriate, to add specific projects, technical skills, publications, organizational work, etc.
  • Use proper grammar and verb tenses. Do not use “I” or other pronouns, “responsible for” or “responsibilities included”. Also, check your spelling. You cannot make any mistakes on your resume (or in any other communications such as your cover letter or emails).
  • And, don’t rely solely on your online application. Utilize your network, including LinkedIn, to help get you in the door!

If you would like professional assistance in preparing your resume (and/or using LinkedIn), let me know. I’ve actually worked with thousands of clients in nearly all industries, professions (even the most technical) and levels (including C level and Partner) over the past 30+ years. I work with you hand-in-hand to customize your resume for the position you are seeking.

Stuart Fried | (818) 577-1347 | scfried@aol.com | http://careerspecialist.net

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