Past IssuesFebruary 27, 2017
Personalize Your Resume & Showcase Your Accomplishments
Maximize your exposure and land more interviews
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Get a free critique with a professional resume writer
On your first pass in front of the eyes of a hiring manager, you have less than 30 seconds to impress them with your resume. Career professionals like to call this the "applicant black hole." What many people don't realize is that they aren't even getting their resume into the hands of hiring managers for reading! What can you do to avoid the black hole?
Well, for starters, you need to realize that it isn't your skill-set or your accomplishments that are ruling you out, it's your resume! A self-written resume has a 6% chance of being read. A professionally written resume has a 60% chance and generates 2-3x as many interviews as a self-written resume. Job Market Weekly has arranged a special deal with TopResume and is offering free resume evaluations. Get your free-resume critique from an experienced resume writer!
Showcase Your Accomplishments...
By Alicia Buzan, Certified Senior Resume Writer
Nobody needs a resume until they need a resume. Right? So what you need to do, is you need to think about your resume as a living, breathing document.
Keep Your Resume Updated
When something exciting happens in the workplace, I always tell people to keep a notepad in the top of their desk drawer. When something happens that you're super proud of, write it down. If there's something that you can quantify, write it down. Because when it comes to updating your resume, you're gonna have that information handy. If somebody is asking you, after you've done something six months ago, you're gonna forget. So if you have that information handy at all times, it's gonna help you make sure that that resume is constantly being updated.
So think about processes that you've improved, money that you've saved, things that you've implemented that have really helped the bottom line of the company, made things easier for people. These are things that make you different from everybody else. And this is what really needs to showcase in your resume. You want to avoid using your job duties. So if you can reiterate what's being found in a job posting, don't do it, because that's not what they're looking for. They're looking at the differences that you made in each one of your roles.
You always want to start every bullet with an action verb. The human eye is trained to read left to right. So if you're starting a bullet with an action verb and then you're quickly following it up with a metric, you're guaranteed that that person's gonna continue reading from left to right because they're already drawn in to what you have to say.
Use The SMART Method
The SMART method is actually an acronym for Situation, Metrics and more, Action, Results, and Tie in. With these, you want to be able to outline your situation behind the story, you wanna add your detail, your scope, any obstacles and conflicts and challenges that you faced. You want to list specific actions you took, you want to describe exact results using the numbers and percentages. You want to bring that message home to really prove that you're the best candidate for that role.
So these are things that you really wanna look for when you're building out the bullets to showcase your accomplishments in your resume.
Personalize Your Resume
You need to personalize your resume. It's your professional story to tell. It's an organic document that is specifically for you. The resume needs to have your feel to it, it needs to have your vibe, it needs to reflect you. All keeping that in mind that it's got to be professional, concise, and pointed because it is a professional representation of you.
When you're writing your resume, you want to make sure that you're using words that are in your professional everyday dictionary. It's got to sound like you wrote it. It can't sound like anybody else wrote it, because you need to be able to speak fluently to every single word in your resume. If you can do that, you're automatically gonna have a great conversation. The stories are gonna flow, and more organic conversation will follow.
Resumes no longer need to be boring. They can definitely have your vibe and your feel to them. You want to make sure that you're not using bright, bold colors like reds, and bright yellows, and bright greens that are gonna detract from what you're actually trying to say in the written word. But stick with more neutral shades like browns, and blues, and grays, and let the words actually do the speaking for you rather than the actual color of the resume.
One of the things that I tell people is to have somebody else take a peek at it. Before you send out that resume, get a second opinion. If in that first second they're immediately taken back by all the use of the colors, and the fonts, and the italics, and things that are just kind of overwhelming and detracting from what actually is the gut of the resume, which is the content, which is really what we need to focus on, that's when you need to take a step back and maybe reconsider some of the formatting that you've done.
Alicia Buzan is a certified resume writer at RiseSmart, a leading provider of next-generation outplacement and career transition solutions in San Jose, California. As a certified resume writer, Alicia offers more than 15 years of experience writing job-winning resumes and gains genuine satisfaction from supporting her clients throughout the job search process.