Powerful Resume Tips
A strong resume can make a positive first impression and highlight the skills, experiences, and qualifications that make us suitable candidates for the job. It is often the first point of contact between the company and us. According to a recent survey, 24% of hiring managers generally spend fewer than 30 seconds looking at resumes.
This is why a well-crafted, powerful resume is critical for career success!
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn. She interviewed Job Search Strategist and Author, Jenny Foss.
They shared tips and personal stories about the most powerful resume tips.
1. The Basics
Resumes can be intimidating to write. We can get caught up with what to include, and how to include it. Our resumes should connect the dots between what the company needs and what we can walk through the door and deliver. The easier we can make this for the hiring manager, the more likely they will want to interview us. So what should we include? During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jenny shared some basics we should have on our resumes.
Consider the following:
- Summary Section – We should include a summary section on our resume. This is where we can showcase who we are and what we specialize in. Within the summary section, we can say directly what type of role we are looking for. For example, we can say, “I am a Senior Video Editor with ten years of experience. Highly developed creative and problem-solving skills. I excel at bringing visions to life. At Cutlabs, I co-created the framework for the Orkin commercials. I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm for storytelling to XYZ company!” Summaries can help hiring managers quickly assess whether we would fit the role well.
- Skills Section – It is important for us to have a brief skills section on our resumes. These skills should align with the common skills in the job description. For example, if we see proficiency in Adobe Premiere as a required skill, we should include this in our list of skills. Approximately 9-12 skills are enough.
- Length – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, the audience asked whether it was okay to have a two-page resume. Jenny said it was okay, especially if we’ve had a long career with much experience. However, she pointed out we should ensure all words on the page earn their space. We shouldn’t put together a two-page resume if everything isn’t pertinent to the job we are trying to get.
- Objective – Most of us have put an objective on our resume at some point. However, during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jenny said an objective is unnecessary. This is because the objective usually states we are looking for a new role, which should be implied given that we are applying for a job. We don’t need to include an objective.
- Style – When we assemble a resume, it can be easy to include attractive graphics and fun fonts. However, since most of our applications will be online and going through computer scans, we should keep our resumes relatively basic. We can keep the stylized resumes for email. Otherwise, the computerized scanner may misread our information.
When putting together our resumes, we should make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to confirm we are the right fit for the job.
2. Target Audience
When writing a resume, we have to understand our target audience. This means identifying what a hiring manager is looking for. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jenny shared tips on how we can pinpoint what hiring managers are looking for.
Consider the following:
- Job Descriptions – One way to determine what hiring managers are looking for in specific roles is to use the job description as a road map. We can compare several job descriptions we believe exemplify our skills and what we want to do. As we analyze them, we need to look for patterns. For example, we notice most job descriptions require someone who is an excellent problem solver; then, we know we need to highlight our problem-solving skills within our resume.
- Connect With People – Another great way to find out what a hiring manager or company is looking for is to talk to those who already work there. For example, if we know someone in the marketing department, we can ask them what the company’s core values are, what they look for in applicants, etc. Once we know this information, we can weave it into our resume.
- Keywords – As we tailor our resumes for each job, we can look for keywords within the job description and use them in our resume. For example, if we notice the job description and company overview use detail-oriented several times, this gives us a clue that being detail-oriented is very important. We can then pull out these keywords and tailor our resume with them. The key is ensuring we aren’t putting keywords on our resume without context. We need to be strategic when using them.
Narrowing down what the hiring managers are looking for will help us tailor our resumes for specific roles.
3. Resumes That Stand Out
Writing a stand-out resume can be the difference between getting called in for an interview and not. In today’s competitive job market, our resume needs to grab the hiring manager’s attention right away. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica, and Jenny shared ways to create a powerful resume that stands out.
Consider the following:
- Word Choice – The action words we choose make a difference. For example, if we helped develop an app, instead of saying we assisted in developing an app, we can say we co-developed an app. Assisting makes it seem like we weren’t integral to the app development. As we craft our resumes, we want to be mindful of the words we choose.
- Impact – Our resume needs to reflect not only our skills but also our work’s impact. For example, our resume could say we launched a product for a global client. Launching a product is excellent, but we must state the impact to show why this is significant. We can say, we enabled a client to launch a product and automated the distribution cutting the overhead by 20%. When we explain the impact of our work, the hiring manager can see our value.
- Achievements – As we move through our careers, we may have many experiences, skills, and accomplishments. When tailoring our resumes, we want to use bullet points to showcase the achievements most relevant to the employer. For example, if we want to get hired to do social media and know our target employer wants someone self-motivated, we can showcase this in the bullet points. We can say we created YouTube channels for our clients and went from no audience to 100,000 in two months.
- Metrics – Metrics are an excellent way for us to showcase our impact when writing a resume. For example, we can say we increased revenue by 30%. If this increase in revenue allowed the company to expand the workforce, we should include this as well. We could say we increased revenue by 30%, allowing the company to hire two more team members. Metrics can really showcase our value.
- Qualitative Results – We may have a lot of experience where there aren’t a lot of numbers to showcase our value. In this case, we can use qualitative results. For example, if we are in customer service, we can talk about how we were recognized by our department manager for how much our customers raved about the service we provided.
When our resume stands out, we have more chances of landing an interview and being considered for the position. We need to make it very obvious why we should be considered.
Writing a resume can be time-consuming and intimidating. However, when we focus on the right things, we can write a powerful resume that stands out.
Check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel if you want to see the full version of this Soulcast Media | LIVE conversation.
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