Manette Malak January 14, 2021 Resume
One of the current trends in job candidate evaluation is behavioral with the idea being that your past performance is the best indicator of your future performance. So, toot your horn a little and make your accomplishments known. Quantifying your experience is usually the most difficult part of preparing a resume for any person. So take some time, think it through, and detail the results you achieved in each of your positions relevant to the one for which you are applying.
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.
Ensure that your sentences are worded to show that you actually did something. It sounds silly, but consider the following two sentences:
Spend the Most Time on the Most-Read Part of Your Resume – Contrary to what you might think, the most-read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your Profile or Experience Summary. If your resume is missing this section, you are losing your best opportunity to create interest. It used to be common to put an Objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Objective section. Why? It is a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an Executive Summary for a reviewer where you clearly point out why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don’t generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
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.
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
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