For most job-seekers, the resume is the only way to get your foot in the door. Unfortunately, the employer probably gets so many resumes, that he barely has time to read through them all. This makes getting a foot in the door extremely difficult.
What usually happens is that human resources will do an initial screening of all resumes sent in. Those that pass the initial HR screening may go to the hiring manager, who will scan the resumes and pick out the ones that seem to be a good fit for his needs. After this process, a more thorough screening will be done to select candidates that might be called for a phone interview.
Once a job-seeker gets that phone call, the importance and weight of the resume starts to drop in comparison with the more personal communications. Therefore, the goal of creating a business resume should be to pass through the initial screening process. Some tips to help you be impressive on paper are listed below.
Make Your Resume a Marketing Tool
A resume is a tool for you to use to market yourself. An employer lists a job because there is an unmet need. Therefore, your resume should address how you can meet that need better than anyone else.
There is nothing wrong with creating multiple versions of a resume, so long as you are truthful. Target your business resume to the employer either by creating a resume for different industry verticals or targeted job titles.
Make it highlight results
Too many people simply write down job titles and dates without giving good examples of what type of previous results were achieved. When writing your experience, make sure you highlight your biggest achievements. Use action words like, “I managed”, “I led”, “I developed” and then in a very short sentence, state what the result was.
A great example is “I led a 4 million dollar project which resulted in a 50 million dollar profit.” This is short and to the point, but also gives the employer something very real and practical to work with.
Make the summary meaningful
When creating a summary, avoid generics at all cost. Be specific about who you are, what you have accomplished and what you wish to do.
A sentence that states you are a professional seeking a challenging position doesn’t have any meaning. Instead, a summary that states you are a sales management professional with ten years success in increasing profits wishing to find a position in the automobile sales industry gives the employer more information to work with.
Make it look good
Last but not least is how your resume looks. Use bullet points, keep the same font and format throughout the resume and make good use of white space. Realistically, you probably have 30 seconds to make it into the follow-up pile instead of the throw-away pile.
In addition, check spelling and grammar. Then, you should check spelling and grammar. Finally, you should have someone else check your spelling and grammar. One misspelled word or unreadable sentence could label you as incompetent.
In conclusion, remember that a business resume is not intended to be a complete job history and is not intended to list every accomplishment you have ever had. A business resume should be used to show the employer why you are worthy of an interview. You must address the employer’s needs, target the employer’s industry and make it look eye-catching and professional.
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