Professional resume writers take on the mindset of the employer and recruiter when crafting and editing resumes. To edit your resume like a professional resume writer, you have to develop a fresh mindset.
If that means taking a break from your resume for a day or two before going back to it, that's what you will have to do.
Candidates often spend so much time on their resume that they can no longer give it an objective review. Many candidates are also challenged with writing their own resume because they are so involved in their own experiences. They are unable to offer a macro view of their experience and achievements, and rather than focusing on information that is important to a potential employer—like quantifiable accomplishments—they are stuck focusing on mundane daily tasks of the job that are less impactful on a resume.
To tackle your resume like a professional resume writer, have an open mind and think like the employer or recruiter you are applying to.
Here are some general rules to follow as you edit your resume:
1. Show What You Do Well
Identify the top five skill sets that an employer wants in the perfect candidate, which they've mentioned in the job description. Then, focus your resume on how you've achieved great things leveraging these skills.
For instance, if you are applying for a sales position, your focus should be on quota achievement, account penetration, prospecting, and closing techniques. Don't sway from focusing on the core skills an employer wants.
2. Remove What's Irrelevant
In most instances, a hiring manager makes a decision of whether you are an appropriate candidate for a call back after reviewing your resume for only a few seconds. Rarely is every line on your resume read in its entirety. The more information on your resume that is relevant, the quicker the hiring manager will come to the conclusion that you are a good candidate to call.
However, if your resume includes too much irrelevant information, you increase your chances of being dismissed. So, in the end, the less an employer finds irrelevant on your resume, the more impactful it is. You are better leaving off information that doesn't offer much to an employer, including resume fluff. Just don't do it.
3. Don't Be Afraid To Market Yourself
For a resume to have impact, you have to market yourself. Every aspect of what you put on your resume should sell. Take all of your experiences, skills, and capabilities, and position it in a manner to sell. The information on a resume should present itself in a manner that says, "This is what I have achieved before, and this is what I can do for you."
Many resumes don't sell simply because they are poorly focused. For instance, just because your job was to bag groceries does not mean that is the information you put on your resume. You can make it more marketable by indicating how your customer service skills helped maintain customer satisfaction, resulting in returning customers. (Make sure you use numbers to quantify your work experience!) Your statement is not a lie. It is simply reframing information in a way that shows more relevance for the job.
4. Look Out For Common Mistakes
Minor mistakes such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors are avoidable. However, many resumes that are not carefully proofread contain such mistakes that are cause for dismissal by the hiring manager.
Of all the reasons for a resume to be dismissed, don't let these easy fixes be one of them. Ask a friend or family member to give it a review. You need another pair of eyes or at the very least, a fresh pair of eyes. Remove yourself from your resume for some time before giving it a good review. When you stare at a resume too long, it makes it harder to detect and edit mistakes.
Reviewing and editing your resume like a professional resume writer can make a significant impact. It is often the difference between actually securing interview opportunities for jobs and spending valuable time continuously searching and applying for new opportunities to only receive no response in return.
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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