Sometimes job seekers hit a wall with their resume.
They have read and re-read it and read it some more. They’ve played with phrases, moved this word or that, and messed with the fonts. But they’re stuck and the resume looks, more or less, like it always has despite all of this time-consuming effort.
For high-impact revisions that make a tremendous difference, you may need to step back and look at the big picture. Have you paid attention to your employer’s needs? Have you spoken less about your responsibilities and more about your results? Have you incorporated words that cut through the sea of applicants and push you to the top of the pile?
Here are three resume edits you can do today that will make a huge difference in the strength of your resume:
1. Brand yourself. For a resume to be strong, you must think deeply about what makes you a smart investment for the company.
The first step is to brainstorm and list your most salient skills as well as your greatest accomplishments. Then look carefully for common threads and habits. Are you always improving processes? Do you excel at customer service? Have you saved employers money? Do you recognize and develop internal talent with your natural leadership skills?
Once you’ve determined the most distinct values you offer to the company, use them to write a professional branding statement, a brief summary that should land at the top of your resume, in its prime real estate.
Here’s an example:
Driving corporate business health with 20+ years of strategic project management and financial analysis. Record of streamlining budgets to save money through meticulous cost analysis. Improving stakeholder confidence through transparent, compliant record keeping and reporting.
2. Turn Responsibilities into Results
Having had a job with responsibilities is standard. Describing those various tasks does not set you apart. To turn those responsibilities into results is to reach out and grab potential employers attention. Now they see what you might be able to do for them.
Show not what you had to do but how you benefitted your previous employers. Prove it with DATA.
Think about ways you have:
– saved money or time
– improved processes
– attracted and retained clientele
– improved the reputation of the business
– came up with ideas that enhanced the business
– managed or trained others
– maintained successful operations with high volumes of customers or orders
Here’s one before and after example:
before: – Taught students music lessons on piano and guitar.
after: – Attained 8 new students through positive referrals, retaining 100% of them over 6 months or more.
This person goes from a bland description of what they were supposed to do, to proving that they can bring in business and keep it!
3. Use the Right Keywords
Keywords are essential to your resume for many reasons. They allow employers to search for you, link you to your target position and allow you to pass applicant tracking systems.
Instead of generating your own keywords, simply pull them from the jobs to which you’re applying. Print out a company’s job description, then go through and highlight the skills and abilities that are essential to the role you seek. Do this with a few other descriptions, and you’ll start to discover very valuable keywords that should absolutely go in your resume.
Take your own resume and insert these keywords as appropriate. Once you’ve finished, you should have a resume that looks far more well-suited to your target jobs!
By making just these three edits to your resume, you’ll leap ahead of the pack and have a resume that’s power-packed and far more marketable.
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