Mimi Thalia January 13, 2021 Resume
Avoid Flowery Language That Diminishes Your Achievements – You could have a comedy show with some of the statements people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and uncommon vocabulary. Avoid over the top statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call your credibility immediately into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite claims as ”Rocketed performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, ”People don’t speak like that; I have never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could rocket performance to stellar heights. Remember, people hire people they like, so don’t make your resume read like an amateur poet wrote it.”
As I mentioned earlier, do not assume that a resume reviewer will be familiar with various terms and concepts that could substitute for the ones in the position announcement. That may or may not be true. Best advice is to use the potential employer’s terminology from the job posting since that is most likely what reviewers will be looking for. Again, do not assume that the initial reviewers are familiar with the technology involved with the position. They may not be. Be very clear that you meet all of their requirements by ensuring that your technical skills summary, experience summary, and experience details all generously use the correct keywords for the position you are seeking.
Finally, make sure each job history write-up in your experience history (your job summaries) includes these details as well. When I get into a detailed resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I try to determine where and when you had the required experience for the computer programmer job. If I can’t find it called out in the details, I will assume you don’t have that experience, regardless of what your summary says. It is very important that you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are the key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.
Offer Proof for Your Statements – The old adage that finding a job is a job holds true. The burden is on you to prove to a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To do this, you must build your case from the ground up. This means you need to offer proof for every statement you make. For example, if you say you have 6 years of experience with Java programming or accounts payable, an employer should be able to go one-by-one through your position write-ups on your resume and identify those 6 years by themselves.
Avoid vanilla, blanket statements that cannot be backed up. To accomplish this, you should offer details rather than meaningless phrases like top performer, top achiever, employee of the month, etc. While I am sure these are great accomplishments, you must explain them and tell why and how these recognitions should matter to a new employer. Remember, the actual recognition is secondary to your achievements, a potential employer will care more about why you earned recognition.
Let me share with you a tip related to your technical skills summary based on my review of resumes over the years. After I check the list of skills, my next step is to look further in the resume to identify the specific jobs where that skill was used and determine how much experience a candidate has with the skill. The point is that listing the skill is simply not enough. Truthfully, I’ve found that most candidates never mention the technical skill anywhere else other than in the skill listing. In these cases, I will assume they really don’t have experience with that skill and are just listing it to catch my eye. Therefore, follow through and ensure that the skills you list are also spelled out in your job experience write-ups. Never assume that a resume reviewer will know that you did x, y, or z. More often than not, they do not make those assumptions or they could even be non-technical staff who are just following a checklist to screen the resumes. So, remember, that if an employer lists a technical skill on the IT job posting or ad, make sure it is on your resume in both your technical skills list and experience write-up.
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