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FYI Solutions Blog

Feb 11, 2014

Revamp your resume and get that job!!

Today’s job market can seem more frustrating than ever when it comes to actually getting in front of a manager that is hiring.  Have you felt like no matter how many times you submit your résumé to a job posting, you don’t hear from anybody even though you feel you are well qualified?  If you answered, “Yes” chances are your résumé is what is holding you back.

As a Recruiter, I see which résumés are most effective at “getting your foot in the door” on a daily basis.  Hiring Managers are busier than ever and if they are not interested in your résumé within 30 seconds, you are likely to end up in the rejected pile.  Hundreds of résumés are submitted to job postings.  You need to make sure YOUR résumé is the one that stands out!

Writing your résumé is not an exact science, but here are some tips that have helped my candidates succeed over the years:

1 – Firstly, your résumé must speak to solving the specific problems/issues that are set forth in the job description.  Take the time to really break down the Job Description and understand the need from a business perspective.   How did you help the business in previous jobs?  Keep this in mind when you are writing your résumé.  Think of problems that came up in previous jobs, the steps you took to correct that problem, and the successful end result.  Hiring managers want to see results.

2 – Given my first tip, this next tip should not come as a surprise.  The résumé you submit to a job should be customized and unique for that job.  Do not try to use a résumé that is designed to match all jobs.  That will just have you ending up in the “almost” pile.   Bullets that are more relevant to the job should be moved to the top of each of your jobs.  The skill summary at the beginning of your résumé should very closely reflect the skills required for the job.  In order to keep track, save each résumé with the name of the company you send it to.

3 – The hiring manager often times is not the one that initially screens your résumé.  Your résumé usually needs to go through someone that is looking for the right keywords.  Make sure to use specific key words and buzzwords from the Job Description.  Use similar language as is used in the Job Description.  For example, if the Job Description calls for experience with Service Oriented Architecture and you have “SOA” on your résumé make sure to use their terminology.   It is unfortunate how many qualified résumés do not even make it to the hiring manager even though they have the skills for the job.  Don’t let this be you!

4 – Presentation is important.  Format your résumé so that the employer can review it quickly.  Also make sure all formatting is uniform (same indentations, same tense throughout, matching capitalization of terms, etc). A slight formatting error can show lack of attention to detail and can give the manager an easy reason to choose to interview one person over another, all else being equal.  Résumé length is not a hard and fast rule but don’t try to keep a résumé to one page.  Unless you are entry level, one page is just not enough.  Typically 3 to 5 pages will work as you should only include experience relevant to the job.

5 – Say what you did, not what you were “involved in.”  Being “involved in” something is too broad of description.  It could mean you led a project, but it could also mean you merely sat in on one meeting for a project.  Don’t leave the Hiring Manager guessing what “involved” means.  They will likely assume you would have been more specific if your part was integral.  State what you “created”, “delivered”, “managed”, “analyzed”, etc. not just what you were “involved in.”  You are better off sticking to what you know, then adding something you were just involved in at a surface level.

With all this said, make sure to stay to true to what you know in your résumé.  Any embellishments you make will eventually come back to bite you down the road.  Good luck!



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