Starting the new year by revising your resume


As we welcome in a new year filled with resolutions, I thought it would be useful to revisit the resumes for all the job seekers looking for new starts in 2010.

As you know the resume can be a powerful tool in getting you in for that all important interview. But how it looks and reads will have a big affect on if it will be successful in getting you noticed. Here are useful tips we have used in writing resumes to help you revise your resume to make it the most effective weapon on your job search:

Use titles and headings effectively. Change your approach to the key phrases and titles that jump out when the employer looks at your resume. Instead of highlighting what you did, highlight what you can do for your new employer.

Think about your format. Put more thought into the organization of the resume. Stay away from long paragraphs and go with lots of short phrase and bulleted list presentation styles. These will work well during that 'initial scan' and get your resume put noticed.

Sell your content. Too often a resume is a history document of your background. Change your approach to make it a roadmap to your future and to your employers. Use action verbs. Instead of "work on the project", think about phrases like "was successful at achieving results working with..."

Action words are powerful. After you have written the first draft of your resume, review the words you use, particularly the verbs.

Verbs describe action and you want your resume to communicate that you are a person of action and accomplishment.

Refer to the job description. A key to what your employer needs is shown in the job description. Read it carefully and use words from it directly.

This is called "echoing" because you echo back in your resume and in your interview words that employers use because you are talking in their language.

What do they "really" need. Think about what an employer really needs.It may say in its job ad that it needs "a programmer expert" but what it really needs is a technical problem solver with strong programmer experience and skills who can help communicate the problems of the business to the technical team to provide solutions and long -term support.

Think of the business problem that your special skills will solve and word your resume and cover letter around those needs.

What makes you so great? Your resume may do a terrific job of telling about your background and successes but what it may not do is answer the question "what will be the benefit of hiring you over the others?" Develop language and text in your resume that talk about your skills and experience but also the benefit you bring to the business setting you wish to enter. Describe your value.

Sell yourself upfront. Your resume has many worthwhile things to brag about for you. But you know that this employer is looking for particular skills and personality traits. So prioritize your resume so the things that are your top skills are highlighted in titles, italics, bullet lists upfront. You can include those other great things you want to say later in the resume.

Customize. Have a generic resume that has everything you could possibly need or want in any resume. But remember, every job application is unique and you may need to carefully customize your resume and cover letter to match exactly what this job is calling for. By customizing your resume, you will feel that you have done everything you can to make sure you are reaching out to that employer with the best resume for that situation that you can possibly offer.

Wishing you all the best in 2010 from the HRinmotion team!