Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tips to writing an amazing resume


When searching for a new job, your resume serves as your first impression to a potential employer.  Messing up your resume is not only embarrassing but means that you probably won’t even get a chance to show off your charming smile or to explain in person why you’re the right candidate for the job.

Be Brief
When it comes to reading a resume, keep it pithy.  Recruiters and hiring managers read hundreds of resumes and too much detail is taxing.  Think of your resume as a movie trailer; giving too much of the plot away just irks the audience.  The interview is like a movie and is your chance to expand on what's included in the resume.  The ideal length is one to three sentences per bullet.
  • Worked at J Allen Meat Company in Tacoma, WA and managed the accounting division.  In this role, I supervised three junior accountants and led daily meetings with the company presidents with an emphasis on synergistically e-enabling progressive growth strategies.  This also involved efficiently actualizing high standards in functionalities in the account payable department.  Lastly, I also focused on interactively visualizing performance based niche markets.  Tired of reading this yet?  I can type more text, but chances are that you'll never even read this because it's at the end of a very long paragraph.  What are you up to this weekend?  Have you started your journey of self-discovery by day dreaming half way through this blob of text?
Don't simply take all of that extra content and place it into bullet points.  Using 5 to 6 bullets is the max that you should list for a position.  Keep the high impact bullet points at the top.  Avoid this situation:
  • Worked at J Allen Meat Company in Tacoma, WA and managed the accounting division.
  • In this role, I supervised three junior accountants and led daily meetings with the company presidents with an emphasis on synergistically e-enabling progressive growth strategies.
  • This also involved efficiently actualizing high standards in functionalities in the account payable department.
  • Lastly, I also focused on interactively visualizing performance based niche markets.
  • Tired of reading this yet?
  • I can type more text, but chances are that you'll never even read this because it's at the end of a very long paragraph.
  • What are you up to this weekend?
  • Have you started your journey of self-discovery by day dreaming half way through this blob of text?
Structure Your Bullets Using A-C-R-Q!
Structure your resume bullets to start with an action, followed by context, results, and finish off by quantifying.  For example:

Action
Launched unlimited net worth .com


Context
a financial web site providing visitors with rich financial information


Results
delivering additional unique visitors and advertising revenue


Quantify
generating over 50,000 unique visitors per month and delivering $20K/month advertising revenue (I wish!)

Use Action Verbs
Think you're the right candidate for the job?  Using action verbs will help communicate this to the recruiter or hiring manager.  Using bad and low impact words won't help you make the case.  Since when were you proud to tell your mom that you assisted or participated in something?  It's a lot more impressive to say you drove or managed something (as long as you actually did)!

Boring words that don't impress
  • Participated
  • Assisted
  • Contributed
  • Supported
  • Helped
  • Responsible for
Strong action verbs
  • Coordinated
  • Designed
  • Drove
  • Programmed
  • Led
  • Negotiated
  • Accomplished
  • Saved
Stay Away From Personal Pronouns and Articles
Your resume is already all about you.  You don't need to drive the point home by starting every sentence with I this or I that.  Also, articles like the or a are an unnecessary.  Avoid sentences like this:
  • I launched the unlimited net worth .com, a financial web site providing visitors with rich financial information. My site generated over 50,000 unique visitors per month and I achieved advertising revenue of $20K/month (I wish!)
Instead, structure your sentence like this:
  • Launched unlimited net worth .com, a financial web site providing visitors rich financial information, generating over 50,000 unique visitors per month and delivering $20K/month advertising revenue (I wish!)
Enhance But Don't Invent
It's a good thing to enhance your resume and make your accomplishments and skills shine, but don't invent new things (unless of course you're an inventor and that's actually what you did... then you should feel free to talk about your inventions).  Stick to the facts and don't embellish or recreate the past.  That 2.6 GPA doesn't round up to a 4.0 and Harvard High School just isn't the same as Harvard University.

No comments:

Post a Comment