Many job candidates ask what they can do to make their resume even stronger. They often ask which “buzz words” and resume designs get interviews these days. Some candidates sprinkle their resume with unncessesary words, such as “successfully,” “independently,” and “effectively.” Another tactic is to load the profile with over-used phrases such as, “results-driven,” “self-motivated,” and “proven track record.” None of those tactics will enhance your resume and often they are a distraction.
You must have a clean and sophisticated resume design, but content is king! Follow my top three strategies and you will transform your resume in a meaningful way.
3.) Customize your resume for each of your career goals.
Identify your career goals. What type of job are you seeking? Study sample job postings to learn the major requirements for your target job. Through your resume and LinkedIn profile, communicate how you meet the job requirements. When your resume is aligned with your target, you will score well with electronic ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software and you will be more likely to impress the hiring manager.
2.) Integrate keywords contextually and in a list format.
Keywords have been a part of resume strategies for many years. Today ATS software applications are very sophisticated. Employers and recruiters establish search criteria. Candidates score higher if their resume (or LinkedIn profile) contains these keywords. In many cases you score higher if the words are included in two ways. First, include your keywords in a Core Competencies or Areas of Expertise chart or list. Second, include the keywords as part of your Professional Experience content.
1.) Add relevant accomplishments with measured results.
The number one way to improve your resume is to add accomplishments that prove your expertise and abilities. This may include surpassing expectations for revenue generation, increasing efficiency through new processes or technology, and leading major projects. Don’t forget to show the measured results. If you struggle with accomplishments, think of “before and after” stories for each of your former jobs. A lack of accomplishments is the biggest mistake that candidates make. Don’t be that candidate.
Every candidate’s situation is unique, requiring a personalized resume strategy. However, some resume strategies are universal. The above three strategies will improve anyone’s resume. If you would like help with your resume, please contact me. I would be happy to help you!