We are excited to share with you a great blog written by the very talented Melanie, one of our Recruitment Partners in North America. Melanie specializes in recruiting and sourcing focused on diversity candidates for a variety of industries. She trains / consults organizations on diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, culture, employer and candidate branding and other talent acquisition and retention strategies. Enjoy her blog!
Part One: Writing An Effective Resume
Don’t be too hard on yourself- it’s not just you! Whether you are forced to look for a job due to layoffs or just wanting a career or job change, writing a resume that captures both your experience and personality is not easy. Having to simultaneously make yourself attractive to both recruiters on LinkedIn and make it past a company’s key word search Applicant Tracking System screening, can be overwhelming.
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, seeing yourself as a “personal brand” and the need to think of yourself as a “package” when searching for a new job is not something you’ve ever given much thought to before. Start thinking about this now because I guarantee you that a lot of your competition is now doing this. Don’t feel bad if this is new to you. Although this concept is more familiar to people in advertising and marketing, they don’t always make the connection either.
So what things do you absolutely need to put in the resume part of the package besides your contact information and education? You’ll need to include your Professional Work Experience. A prospective employer wants to know what’s in it for them if they hire you, that is, what you bring to the party and/or what you can do or have done that solves a problem for a company. You’ll also need to include a Career Summary that gives your audience an overview of your experience and can be read in about 15 seconds max and some Core Expertise or Skill Sets you possess, e.g. budgeting, leadership, vendor management, etc. The expertise and skills you use will be used by recruiters, sourcers, and company Applicant Tracking Systems for Key Word searches so keep this in mind. If English is not your first language, you might want to run the list by your friends first to see if there are other words that can be used to convey a skill you possess that will be easily searchable. Write these two sections last.
Tackle your Professional Work Experience first. Ask yourself this question: what is it about you specifically that is different from your competition (or what your competition includes on their resume and LinkedIn profile) and others with a similar job title? This is not a time for modesty. The easiest way to do this is to think about your experience in terms that can be measured or what you Made, Saved or Achieved for your company. Here’s how: go through your work experience job by job and ask yourself three questions. First, what did I do to increase revenues for the company? Second, what did I do to reduce costs for the company? Third, do I have any achievements that differentiate me from everyone else? Achievements can be performance awards, industry awards, certifications, or anything that was either something no one in your role had ever done before (e.g. first to achieve XXX) or was fairly unusual for someone in your position to accomplish. Don’t worry if you haven’t had an opportunity in your previous or current roles to do all three.
What don’t you need in your resume? First, company job descriptions. Stop all that cutting and pasting right now! Why? Because job descriptions don’t tell a perspective employer what you can do for them or what you have done that would help the company solve a problem and a lot of the stuff in the job description is either no longer relevant to the day-to-day job. Second, when listing your skills, exclude any really outdated technology. Whenever a recruiter sees someone list “Main Frame” or “Windows 95” on a resume, we cringe because our assumption is that if this is relevant to you, you are probably going to struggle with the kinds of technology used by the company. It might not be true, but that’s what we’re thinking when we read your resume. Third, an Objective. The only exception to this rule is if you are switching careers and need to let your audience know what you want to do now and why your past experience qualifies you to do this. Fourth, a list of your Hobbies or Interests. If your ability to skateboard is not relevant to the job you want, leave it out! You can, however, include any volunteer work you’ve previously done or boards you serve on as long as they are not affiliated with a place of worship.
Now that you have all the information that positions you as someone an employer would be lucky to have, put it all together in the proper order (Contact Info, Career Summary, Expertise or Skill Sets, Work Experience, Education and Certifications, Volunteer Experience.) ***Optional info to include in Career Summary: If you speak more than one language fluently OR conversationally, add this to the Career Summary paragraph. If your experience is global, or you’ve worked on more than one continent, add this to the Career Summary paragraph as well.
Need some help?
If this all sounds overwhelming to you or you have never written a resume before but you need to get this done, I can take this off your plate and do it for you! For resume writing assistance, either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a message via LinkedIn or text me at 1+ (248) 250-1368.
#ResumeWriting #Resumes #Branding #JobSearch
Next up – Part Two: Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile