10 Ways to Write a Killer Resume and Get an Interview
1) A resume is not a list of everything you have ever done, it’s a highlight reel- BE RELEVANTThe biggest mistake people make is that they approach a resume like a job description and write out every task that they have ever done. A resume is an overview of your accomplishments not a laundry list! Coaching tip: Once you get the interview you can elaborate on your bullet points. The interview is the place to talk in greater detail but for now, when writing a resume keep it to the interesting important stuff.
2) Get rid of the objective (no one reads it anyways)- BE DIRECTThe first thing recruiters look for is your most recent job so do them a favor and put it right at the top. Objectives are outdated and take up valuable space, so get rid of it! Coaching tip: Lead with work experience, close with education and aim for 1 page, 2 pages max depending on the length of your career. Click here to download an easy to use Resume Template
3) Use metrics and provide numbers-BE SPECIFIC Vague ambiguity will not grab the reader the way numbers will. Define your experience by providing facts, figures and statistics. Coaching tip:Read over your resume and add numbers where you can. For example.- Instead of “Worked on reports and made submissions” quantify it “Created 3 bi-annual reports and made 4 monthly submissions to Executive team”
4) Write full sentences-BE CLEARJust because a resume needs to be concise does not mean you can get away with using fragments and just because it needs to be descriptive doesn’t mean you can get away with run-on’s. Coaching tip: The intention of business writing is to convey information, so stick to the facts. Take out any filler words, remove articles (such as; a, an and the) pronouns (its and their) and superfluous verbs. Don’t just rely on spell check, get a second opinion- a fresh set of eyes will catch obvious mistakes.
5) Tense is very important-BE ACCURATEIf you are currently working in the position use present tense and make sure all your preceding experience is written in past tense. Coaching tip: Continuity is important for the interviewer to get a sense of where you have been and what you are currently doing. If your tense is off you might get questions like “Oh, I didn’t realize you were still working there.”
6) Add Additional skills only when pertinent-BE HONEST I interviewed a candidate who claimed to be fluent in Spanish on his resume. When the hiring manager walked in, she started the interview in Spanish. He got all flustered and had to admit that he wasn’t exactly fluent. Elaborating your abilities on your resume might get you the interview but eventually you will be found out, so save yourself the humiliation and just be honest. Coaching tip: Only add an Additional Skills heading if it is pertinent to the position (i.e.; Licenses/Certificates you hold, or Exams you have passed)
7) Bullet points are not all created equal-BE STRUCTURED The first bullet may be the only bullet someone gets a chance to read at a career reception so make it a good one. Coaching tip: Organize your bullets according to the priorities of your position in descending order. For example- if the majority of your job is client advocacy make client advocacy your first bullet and the additional bullets will describe in greater detail what that entails and how you accomplish it.
8) Use active voice and action words-BE CONFIDENTSimply put, active voice is direct and easier to understand and isn’t that the way you want your resume to read? Do not use the word “I” For example- instead of “Monthly financial reports were generated by me..” use instead “Created 5 monthly financial reports..”Coaching tip:Click here for 100 Action words to use on your resume and in your interviews.
9) List dates of employment-BE FACTUALIf you don’t list the dates, recruiters might think that you are hiding something. So be upfront. If you have a gap on your resume when you were unemployed or in school be prepared with an answer. Coaching tip:It isn’t a deal breaker if you have a gap in your job history however it is a deal breaker if you lie about it and/or try to cover it up.
10) Don’t say the same thing twice-BE DISTINCTEven though you have had a couple jobs where you did the exact same thing doesn’t mean you can copy and paste the exact same bullets for every position. Coaching tip: You must diversify your bullets, so you don’t look lazy.