Learning how to write the perfect resume can be a lesson in patience and failure. The problem is that neither one is conducive to landing that great new gig you have been eyeballing for months. Combine that with the fact that unemployment rates still hover around 10% in most cities and you are staring up at a steep hill to climb. The competition is fierce and employers see the times as a buyer’s market. From strategy to execution, your job search must be bulletproof. And it all begins with your resume. Getting the right resume writing tips can be the most critical part of your job search.
I review hundreds of resumes a month and let me tell you that there is nothing that will set you apart from your competition as easily as a professionally written resume or a poorly written resume for that matter. It doesn’t matter if you are talking with friends, family, recruiters, or potential employers: your resume is a professional perception of you and it gives you the ability to get in doors. Use it to your advantage.
Do NOT mass market your resume and send the same bland cover letter out to everyone. This shows a lack of effort and interest in the job. Personalize each and every cover letter to the best of your ability. Focus your cover letter to the position you are applying for and show how you can or have previously added value within that role or a role similar in your past. Don’t talk or think hypothetically. Talk, act and think tangibly. Right now companies are still risk-adverse to hiring. Use the economy to your advantage and state your claim why hiring you DOES make so much sense. Spell it out in tangible metrics.
Do NOT send the same resume out to every job you apply for. This is a very poor tactical decision and one that is the usual suspect when applicants who read the job description and think, “I am perfect for this role” never receive a follow up call even though they are, in fact, qualified for the job. Your resume is like a professional marketing piece. You already know who your target audience is, now make sure that you show them why they should hire you. Do this by tailoring your achievements and bullet points to contain key words that are mentioned in the job description. If company x, who is an automaker, is looking for someone who can sell widgets and your resume talks about how you sold widgets for an electronics maker, whose client base included the company you are applying to, then lost in translation is the fact that you have great experience selling widgets to their exact target customer base and most likely have relevant market and product knowledge to bring to the table.
Make sure your resume doesn’t get lost in the pile. Don’t miss out on the ability to tangibly sell your personal value. Make yourself and your resume relevant. Getting your foot in the door is all about stacking the deck and that starts with making sure your cover letter and resume is finely tuned and strategically worded. Take these resume writing tips and make your climb up that hill a little easier.