I remember working with a client several years ago who kept running into a roadblock – he was able to get decision makers on the telephone and do a great job of “selling” himself, but once he sent in the resume, the conversation went cold.
You may be smart, articulate and well-accomplished, but if your professional resume does not do a great job of representing you to employers and recruiters, your job search and internal company promotion efforts are in vain.
1) Does your resume have a strong handshake?
The top-third of your professional resume is like an appetizer that will draw the readers in – start off with a clear definition of who you are, what you have to offer, and the environments in which you excel – for example:
SENIOR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE
Start-Up, Emerging & High-Growth Companies
The Profit Builder: Systematically improving internal systems, strengthening operational processes and mobilizing vital resources that propel companies into stable, profitable entities.
2) Does your resume have an interesting story?
Remember, you want to stand out in a pile of other resumes and hungry job seekers, so make your career story an interesting one. Don’t bore readers with heavy details about tasks and daily responsibilities – hit them with big picture and “wow” them with your bottom-line, career-defining achievements.
3) Does your resume have your bright personality?
The use of vibrant action words, verbs and adjectives can really wake up a sleepy resume. If you are an energetic, bold person then don’t be afraid to use words that bring out your personal flavor.
4) Does your resume pass the 30 second scan?
Your resume should be compelling and concise – don’t leave the best of what you have to offer on the second page of the document. Take good advantage of the real estate on the resume’s first page to share your qualifications, expertise, and overall career theme with hiring managers and recruiters. Think about someone reading your resume through a Blackberry or IPhone.
5) Does your resume have updated information?
Don’t let time-sensitive promotions or job opportunities escape you because your resume is ready to go even if you are – make it a practice to update your resume every three to six months, so that you have a document that is current and living just like you!
Abby M. Locke of Premier Writing Solutions (www.premierwriting.com) is a master resume writer and career marketing architect who helps talented professionals and senior-level executives to achieve career success through cutting-edge, brand-focused career documents, innovative job search tools, and proactive career management strategies.