The fundamental reason for creating a resume is to get interviews. Some resumes achieve this. Why do others fail miserably? Usually because the resume does not answer what the hiring manager is thinking, "What can you do for me?"
A resume certainly is all about you, but what about the hiring manager's needs?
Resumes that win interviews are focused on hiring manager's needs, not the candidate's. The logical approach to writing a resume is to find out first what the needs are and then describe the accomplishments and results of your work that show the hiring manager how you fit those needs.
So to get interviews:
- Focus on the achievements and results of your work. How did the things you have done keep business going smoothly or improve something?
- Format for skimming, not reading. People don't really read resumes. They skim them, quickly glancing for key words, numbers, and phrases that interest them. Make it easy for them to find them without bolding, italicizing, or adding color. Position them where they will almost jump out at the reader.
- Remember your resume is an advertisement, not a biography. Avoid writing paragraphs. Paragraphs are not as easily skimmed by eye as crisp bullet statements. Remove words and sentences that are not relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Avoid excessive description of responsibilities. Responsibilities, positions and even job titles may not be as important as you think if you have not described the results of your work.
- Avoid appearing ignorant or careless. Spelling and grammar are important. So is neat, orderly formatting.
The takeaway is this: Writing your resume is arguably the most important project you ever worked on. If you really want interviews, find out what the hiring manager's needs are and make sure you respond logically and professionally.
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