5 Keys to an Effective Resume

Your resume is an advertisement for you.  Don’t expect people to read the whole thing.  They will skim searching for key words, experience, and qualities that match the job description.  How long will someone look at your resume?  7 to 10 seconds! That’s right.  So your resume needs to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

What are the most important parts of your resume?

Your JOB TITLE – not your job objective.  Not what you think you would like to be.  The job title is the title of the job you are going for right now.  It is the title that is in the job description or the position you are applying for. Or the position that exists at a company, whether or not it is open right now or not.

SUMMARY –  include key words, any languages you speak, expertise, go for 5-8 top skills, and specific countries where you worked.  Include a bulleted list of highlights of your accomplishments.  Start each one with a strong verb and show results. Repeat these accomplishments under EACH of your previous job titles. The summary is about one half of the first page of your resume.

RESPONSIBILITIES – This is a brief job description under each job title of your scope of responsibility which includes functions such as managed 5 staff, budgeted 10 million in projects, or oversaw the North American Division.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS – Not a job description.  The key to an effective resume is your list of accomplishments – What have you done? What problem did you solve?  What project did you complete?  Quantify your results using numbers and percentages.  Did you make money?  Save money? Increase membership?  Increase client satisfaction?

KEY WORDS that highlight your COMPETENCIES or SKILLS – Your resume should highlight your key skills, characteristics as they relate to the job.  Hiring managers will look for the key words that indicate you can do the job –profit and loss, pivot tables, mergers and acquisition; website design.  Hiring managers search on LinkedIn using key words.

Remember the resume is an advertisement.  You need not include your whole life or work history.  It is meant to entice the reader, together with your cover letter, to call you in for an interview.

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