Nine ways to make it happen.
If you want to get hired faster for the job you deserve, you should know a number of unwritten rules to follow when writing your resume.
In fact, I recommend nine unwritten resume rules:
1. Give ’em What They Want
You have – at most – 30 seconds to convince a reader that your resume warrants a complete read. But you may have even less time than that!
A recent poll I conducted among fellow recruiters revealed that most of them spend less than 15 seconds on the first page of a resume. They often never get past your email note or cover letter, let alone your carefully worded "Objective." And, frankly, human resource managers are no more patient.
So, the first rule of resume writing is to write one that gets to the point – FAST. you must make sure readers can find what they want in your resume – FAST. This requires you to do a lot of careful planning about every word in your resume.
2. Be Relevant
Presumably, hiring authorities reading your resume have a job you’re interested in, so show how your experience fits their requirements. Never assume people can or will ‘read between the lines’ and figure out your value. They don’t have time and they don’t care about you – yet.
3. Target Your Reader
You must understand who your ‘reader’ is, because different people are looking for different things in your resume:
Recruiters look for ‘hot’ marketable skills because they want to make money placing 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.
4. Use Bullets
Bulleted sentences, that is. We live in a PowerPoint world. So write in a style that exudes action and energy – be punchy, concise and easy to read. This lets readers get the gist of your main points quickly. You can elaborate later, at the interview.
5. Highlight Your Strengths
Which of your strengths are most relevant to your reader? They should go first in your resume. Always put your top accomplishments where they will get read in the first 15 seconds.
6. Demonstrate Results
Use ###, %%%, and $$$ to emphasize your accomplishments. Remember that one million dollars is less likely to be noticed than $1,000,000. Numbers and symbols jump off the page.
7. Be Concise
Your resume should not contain one more word than needed to make your point. Because you’ll never bore anyone into hiring you. In fact, you might want to be a tease! Your resume must be eye candy in a sea of deadly dull and boring black & white resumes or you’ll miss your best opportunity to impress and regale them with your accomplishments.
8. Don’t Save the Best for Last
It won’t get read. Lead with your best foot. Put your accomplishments up front and, if you haven’t yet figured this out – the names of your clients or, better yet, their logos strategically placed in your resume will get an employer’s attention – especially if they want them as clients, too.
9. Connect the Dots
Make it easy for readers to see how you fit their job requirements. Before writing your resume, research newspapers, job boards and Internet ads for positions that are similar to the ones you’ll be seeking.
Include the latest buzzwords in your resume. For example, an IT specialist might show currency in the profession with words like "JAVA or Audit Trail or channel management or DWDM." Common keywords and phrases 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 for easy identification of skills.