Trust me, if I had any inside tips for losing weight I’d start with myself, but I know many of us are always looking for that magical diet or pill. We don’t want to hear about changing our diet, exercising more, and finding ways to deal with our stress.
Like the cold hard truth regarding our health, the truth is that every employer wants to hire a person with a track record of achievement and stability, who brings the needed skill set into the organization, and will stay there a long time. With that disclaimer, I will give you some low-hanging fruit you can implement immediately by sprucing up your resume.
Keep in mind that the resume is a tool to sell yourself, so get comfortable with that idea. Don’t exaggerate or embellish the truth, but emphasize the positive aspects of your education, experience, skills, and accomplishments to generate interest on the part of a potential employer.
You are more likely to screen yourself out by providing too much information. At some point the reader (if they stick with it) will feel like they have learned enough about you to conclude you would not be right for the job. Also, the reader may start skimming because the resume is so long, thereby missing important information and getting the resume tossed into the “no” stack.
- Keep it brief, a good rule of thumb is one page for every 10 years of experience with a 3-page max
- Skip the lengthy profile at the top of the resume. If you want one, keep it to a very short, focused summary, not a listing of your attributes (excellent communication skills, team player). “I am one of the top salespeople in the commodity resins space, with nearly a decade of experience building territories from scratch and expanding existing accounts.”
- Make it easy on the eye, clearly listing the names of your previous employers, the position you held, and the years. The resume is not the place to experiment with exotic fonts unless you’re in an artistic industry
- Assume that not everyone reading your resume knows what every company does, so include a synopsis; i.e. ABC Industries – a mid-size injection molder of consumer and industrial products
- Spend more time on what you accomplished and what the impact was on the company, not just what you were responsible for or your duties. Employers make the natural assumption that if you accomplished something for a similar company, perhaps you could do the same for them
- The best accomplishments involve a dollar sign; what you did either resulted in increased sales or profits, or saved the company money