5 Secrets to Writing a Job-Winning Resume

The statement “there are no jobs out there” is false. There are jobs out there and companies are hiring like crazy. What has changed is that there is serious competition out there with job seekers who have job winning resumes. Resumes that are more than just a list of duties, but actual marketing documents like these.

What does it mean for you?

The resume you used two years ago will NOT be a job winning resume

Resumes are meant to sell your skills and are being treated as small self-promotion packages these days. Today’s resume has to include sales-infused content combined with a tasteful design. Here’s what you have to consider when writing a kick-ass resume for today’s potential employers:

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1) Target, target, target 

Gear your resume towards a particular job and extract the necessary information that would entice that employer to pick your resume. Use a job description to help you highlight your strengths for that position. Don’t depend too much on your cover letter to do this. Remember that a cover letter is a supporting document, you’re resume still has to do the leg work.

2) Content is king

The essential role of your resume is to sell your experience. This does not mean that you need a 6-page resume that bore recruiters and hiring managers to tears. Make decisions on what to include, exclude, highlight and downplay (yes, there are things you should exclude from your resume). Be creative with your language and stay away from phrases like, “was responsible for”.

3) Sell your transferrable skills

Remember that it’s a marketing document and your selling features should be apparent as soon as the hiring manager sees your resume. Don’t hide them near the end of the page. Industry specific keywords should be easily visible. Hiring managers don’t have time search your resume; they want to know what you can do for them right away. Your strengths should be clear and obvious.

4) Design

No matter your industry, design is important. If you noticed, all of my resume and cover letter templates are visually appealing. As a recruiter, I have yawned through countless resumes that look identical. Use your design to stand out from your competition.

It is still important that there be a balance between design and content. Don’t focus so much on the design that it overpowers the content. The two should work in harmony.

5) Customize 

Customize your resume before hitting ‘apply’ so that it’s relevant to that particular job. Going out of your way to customize shows that you’ve put effort into your resume.

Writing a resume is an art!  Look through your resume with these 5 points in mind and make changes. Don’t be afraid to reformat, re-write sections or re-write the whole thing… you’ll see a chance in your job search.

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4 Comments

  • I’m glad you pointed out that you do not need to include everything in your resume. Use your judgement and only include skills and experiences that support you as a good match for the position.

    Joshua Q Meyers 10.01.2013
    • Thanks Joshua!

      Only including what will help better promote your skills is so important. I’ve seen resumes that are 5 pages long with so much irrelevant and dated information that it’s impossible to dig through and really grasp a job seeker’s strengths.

      CareerGoods 10.01.2013
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