The biggest challenge in today’s tough job market is how to stand out from competition and put yourself in high demand with hiring managers. Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview. It can also position you as the TOP candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
So what does a great resume look like?
As a leading career coach, I help professionals and executives reinvent themselves and transition into a new career every day. Below are five (5) of my resume secrets to help you get you more career opportunities, more job interviews and even a higher salary!
- Feature the “right” key words.
Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings. Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description. Read every skill, qualification and requirement listed in the job posting. Those are the “key words” that you’ll want to showcase throughout your resume.
I always like to list key words using a bullet format in bold fonts towards the top of the resume. This way, the hiring manager will see your key strengths within seconds of picking up your resume.
**BONUS tip: Repeat key words throughout the “experience” section of your resume to show that you have a history, or pattern, of building those skills.
- Show results.
This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes. So many professionals make the mistake of focusing on responsibilities on their resume when they need to instead be focusing on RESULTS. In other words, how did you add value to your previous organizations?
Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers. For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month, and an average of $10,000 per client. That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients! So one of your career highlights should be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.
**BONUS tip: Quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.
- Highlight leadership and teamwork.
Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. Highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects, programs and teams that you’ve led.
If you’re light in leadership experience, then highlight any leadership responsibilities you may have had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church, or extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.
**BONUS tip: Use strong verbs such as: Initiated, orchestrated, implemented and led.
- Be specific and clear.
Don’t waste your resume space (or the hiring manager’s time) by using “filler” words or vague overarching comments like, “received awards for various contributions”, or “launched several products”. List the specific awards you received, or the names of the products you’ve launched. By doing so, you’ll be giving your resume substance and credibility.
Don’t worry if it’s a product nobody’s heard about or is difficult to explain on your resume. You want the hiring manager to be curious about you. That’s why they have interviews – so they can get more information about your qualifications.
**BONUS tip: Be brief. Be specific. Provide enough information that will leave hiring managers wanting more.
- Relevant, targeted and customized.
Employers don’t have time to read about every single skill and job that you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Are you qualified to do their job? Customize your resume to go for the job and company you want. A hiring manager will notice you so much more if your resume is specifically targeted to that position for which you are applying.
**BONUS tip: Only include those jobs, skills, and successes that will help you get your next job.
How confident are you that your resume is going to stand out from your competition?
Invest in having your resume professionally critiqued. Getting personalized recommendations from a resume expert could not only get you more high quality job interviews, but also more career opportunities and even a higher starting salary!
If you’d like me to create a fabulous, professional resume for you, check out my resume web page.
Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.