Resumes: The Unwritten Rules of The Game.

 

There are certain unwritten rules that if you adhere to will increase your chance of getting the attention you deserve.

Give Your Readers What They Want

You have 6-30 seconds to convince a reader that your resume warrants a complete read, an investment on their end of 5-6 minutes.

A recent poll I conducted among fellow recruiters revealed most spend less than 15 seconds on the first page of your resume. Most, in fact, never get past the email note or cover letter, let alone your carefully worded “Objective” and, frankly, human resource managers are no better.

No one has time to waste waiting for a Job Seeker to get to the point… so the first rule of resume writing is to construct your resume so the Reader gets the information they need fast. A little advance planning is called for.

 

Be Relevant.

Presumably the reader has a job you’re interested in, so show how your experience fits their requirements. Don’t assume people can or will “read between the lines” – they don’t have time. It’s not their job and they don’t care about you – yet.

 

Target your Reader.

You need to understand who your “reader” is because – different people read resumes looking for different things.

  • Recruiters look for “hot” marketable skills because they want to make money marketing you. If your skill set is not in high demand, they won’t call unless you are an exact fit for a job order they have.
  • HR folks look for an exact skill fit with a job first, then your stability, then your personality type.
  • Hiring managers look for skill sets first, then how flexible you are and finally your ability to learn on the job.

 

Keep it Crisp

People are visual. They like looking at documents that are clean, neat and well constructed.

 

 

Use Bullets

Sentences, that is. Short sentences are easier to write and easier to read. They also give the reader a sense of action and energy. The reader can get the gist of your experience quickly. You can elaborate at the interview.

 

Highlight your Strengths

Whichever strengths (accomplishments) are the most relevant to your reader – they go first. Always lead with your best foot forward.

 

Demonstrate Results

Use ###, %%%, and $$$ to emphasize your accomplishments. One million dollars is less likely to be noticed than $1,000,000. Numbers and symbols jump off the page.

 

Give it “POP”

Power verbs like those below give your resume “pop”, that crisp delivery of “just the facts ma’a’m – just the facts”. They’re high energy and factual, making you appear to be a “driver”! Just rewriting your resume alone with these words will increase your chances of being interviewed by 50%.

 

 

Accelerated

Accomplished

Achieved

Activated

Addressed

Admitted

Aided

Allowed

Amended

Analyzed

Apportioned

Approved

Arranged

Assessed

Attained

Augmented

Balanced

Brainstormed

Calculated

Certified

Collaborated

Committed

Compiled

Conceptualized

Consented

Contracted

Convinced

Coordinated

Correlated

Created

Increased

Initiated

Invented

Led

Negotiated

Started

 

Be Concise

Your resume should not contain one more word than it needs – to make your point. Ok?

 

Connect the DOTS for them

Make it easy for the reader to see your fit to their job. Before you write your resume, research newspapers, job boards and Internet ads for positions that are similar to the ones you’ll be seeking.

Ensure that the latest “buzzwords” are prevalent. Common key words and phrases like “JAVA or Audit Trail or channel management or DWDM” should map to the bullets in your resume.

Scientists and senior executives should prepare an appendix of publications and papers as well. Technical people need a separate Technical Summary page like this for easy identification of your skills.

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