By: Lisa Chapman, Certified Professional Resume Writer
Resume writing is daunting work for people who write a resume once a year, or once a decade in some cases. With this article, we hope to take the mystery out of what to do when writing a resume. Below are five points to consider when you’re staring at your blank computer screen wondering how to start:
1. Resume Writing Strategy
As any writer knows, there has to be a strategy behind what it is you’re putting on paper. What does the reader want to know? However, since you aren’t a writer, you’re a CPA (for example), this may not be very clear to you. So, before you start writing your resume, think about what it is you are trying to achieve. If you’ve set your sights on getting that Controller position at the company located across the street from where you live, think about what it is the hiring agent is going to want to know about you. Create your resume emphasizing your positive attributes. Showcasing your exceptional talents and achievements wins interviews.
2. Eliminate Pronouns from Your Resume
We were all taught in high school English class to use a subject in every sentence we write. However, in the world of resume writing this is not necessary and viewed as “elementary.” While all of this may shock you, keep in mind that every sentence you write in a resume should begin with powerful words that promote you as being authoritative. Transform “I prepared financials statements for the senior executive team in order for them to make decisions” into “Catalyst in driving corporate decision-making efforts through preparation of financial statements distributed to senior executive team members.” See, it is powerful!
3. Streamlining the Resume
A resume is not an all-inclusive document. It does not need to include the fast food restaurant job you held the summer between your junior and senior years in high school. While entry-level candidates may need to include jobs held in high school, professionals with more than two to three years of career experience should not include such information. Employers want information regarding the professional positions you’ve held and the accomplishments achieved.
The only clear indication of future performance is past performance. Employers want to know what problems you’ve encountered throughout your career, the action you took to resolve those problems, and what the results were to the company once those problems were resolved. When discussing accomplishments on your resume, remember to use quantifiable information that includes dollar amounts, percentages, and time frames involved. One such example could be, “Revitalized underperforming sales results to attain $2 million in additional annual revenue over six months by cultivating relationships throughout newly penetrated sales region.”
5. Toot Your Own Horn
Since most people fail to gain a competitive advantage because they don’t know how to market themselves, you will land more interviews if you promote yourself by addressing accomplishments. For example, if you received a promotion two years before any other peer in the past, document this on your resume. If you attained President’s Club due to astronomical sales achievements, document this on your resume. If you restructured a division that fueled annual revenues $12 million, document this on your resume. Hiring agents pit you against other candidates and if you don’t inform the hiring agent why you should be chosen for the interview, your competition will be the one chatting with the person who should have been your future boss while you’re still searching internet job boards for email addresses.
In the end, it is important for anyone writing a resume to understand the nuances involved. The resume you write is the marketing document promoting you to others. If the only impression a hiring agent has is the resume you submit, it better be great. If you don’t take the time to write a stellar resume, why would an employer call you for an interview?
If all of this information is making your head spin, call Chapman Services Group, LLC and speak to one of our Certified Professional Resume Writers about how we can eliminate your resume writing stress. You can reach us toll free at 866.687.9700 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org..
Happy resume writing to you!