6 Seconds — Does Yours Have What Employers Want?
First impressions are incredibly important. After all, you have only one chance to truly either dazzle someone or send to them walking. This is especially the case when it comes to your resume. The truth is that recruiters and employers often get dozens to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of applications for just one position. This means that, realistically, recruiters and employers do not have time to read every resume as thoroughly as they may wish, resulting in some candidates being tossed aside in the process.
Of course, you want to be in the second (closer) review group and not the “toss” group, but, how do you do it? What gets employers’ attention and compels them to keep reading on, and how can you be among those lucky few who get the coveted second look? It may be helpful to consider these three questions before you polish your resume and send it out: 1. What role do you seek? 2. How are you a great fit? 3. What have you done (Does Your Resume Answer These Three Questions?) Beyond this, this article will identify several things you should put on your resume if you want that extra attention!
1. Show Clear Contact Information
First and foremost, make sure that all of your essential contact information is listed clearly on your resume, ideally somewhere near the top of the page. You want your couple-second resume review to count, but, you do not want employers to spend that precious time trying to figure out who you are and how they can reach you. This information includes your first and last name, your current address, your phone number(s), your email address, and the URL to your LinkedIn page if you have one (Smith: “Six Things You Always Include on your Resume”). Make sure that you have included a phone number by which anyone can contact you quickly and an email address that you check frequently.
2. Address “What role do you seek?” Through Keywords
Here, be careful that you are not just copying and pasting the job description into your resume. Doing so tells the employer nothing other than that you can take essential information and understand that it is essential but that you do not know how to synthesize it and make it relevant to you. Employers seek people who can do their research and use it with purpose. That said, by including keywords from the job posting, you show the employer that you are not just submitting your resume blindly to any position that you find. You show an understanding for what the job will demand and an interest in meeting these demands. Just be sure to remain succinct. Page after page of superfluous prose is a sure way to turn off an employer.
3. Answer “What have you done?” With Your Accomplishments and Achievements
After all, one of the main goals of your resume is to show employers that you are the one they have been looking for all along. What better way to show them than by providing proof of past victories? Include any recent awards, publications, completed projects, or promotions. Be sure to briefly describe each achievement, how it is relevant to your overall career goals, and how it reveals your “fit” factor for the position. Again, be concise and exact. You do not need any more than a sentence or two to get the point across.
4. Perfect Your Career Narrative By Addressing Experience and Cultural Fit
One key thing employers will want to see during an initial resume screening is your work experience, but it goes beyond that. Employers also want to see how all of your jobs come together to create a full story about you, your skills, and your experience. How you convey this information will depend upon how you structure your resume. A popular approach is to list all of your places of employment chronologically, which allows employers to quickly piece the history together for themselves, date by date, as they read. You might also try charting your career narrative according to relevance—for instance, maybe by career goal (the ones most telling of your achievements in your desired field of employment first). In any case, make sure your career narrative is fluid, engaging, and easy to follow. Provide it as useful information, not as a riddle!
5. Be Specific — Prepare Your Resume to Answer “What have you done?” With What You Are Working on Now
If you are currently working on a project or research that is relevant to the position at hand, you should definitely include it on your resume. Doing so will show employers that you remain motivated even when your focus is elsewhere, such as seeking lasting employment; it shows drive, work ethic, and a desire to achieve for the sake of achieving and not just to reap an award of sort. But again, to stress: keep your description brief! Include just the basic objective details and do not launch into a long narrative about your project’s history. (Fallon: “Ten Simple Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out”).
6. Proofread for Proper Grammar and Mechanics and Concise Writing
Concise writing is no doubt important; otherwise, it would not have been stressed so fervently throughout this article. But it worth repeating once more: use few words to convey the most meaning. Favor facts over subjective descriptions. Moreover, make sure your proofread your resume for any grammatical errors. Even just a few might suggest to employers that you do not take pride in your work.
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Are you considering a new position? Do you need help planning your own job search strategies? Or, do you need assistance with perfecting your resume? Click here to have a Lexacount Search Resume Consultant review your resume.
If you are interested in learning more about open finance /accounting industry or legal industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant in Lexacount Search’s Finance Group or in our Legal Group. Finally, if you need assistance in managing your career development across industries, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services.
“Does You Resume Answer These Three Key Questions?” Ivy Exec Blog. Ivy Exec, 09 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
Fallon, Nicole. “10 Simple Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out.” Business News Daily. Purch, 19 June 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
Smith, Jacquelyn. “6 Things You Should Always Include On Your Résumé.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.