Stuck in a resume rut? If you’re using the same resume over and over and over blank resume template and only updating your most current job, your resume is probably boring! Here are three ways to breathe new life into it right now.
1. Walk in the resume reviewer’s shoes.
It’s very possible that the person reading your resume is not someone who is an expert at it and may not even want to be the one reading it at all. He or she may be a department manager who has a vacancy and wants to hire someone fast so he can get back to managing a sales team or leading an IT project. Faced with a stack of hundreds of resumes for one position, he may only review each one for 15-30 seconds. So, boring isn’t going to fly.
“The ones that are easy to read and stick out from the others are usually the ones that get a call or inquiry,” said Danyelle Little, editor-in-chief of TheCubicleChick.com
2. Start with a professional profile.
Personal branding is critical. As a job searcher you must be aware of, and more importantly communicate to employers, who you are and what you have to offer that is unique to you and relevant to them. A well-written and focused resume can do just that. Rather than starting with an objective statement that says Here’s what I want, consider starting with a professional profile that answers the question Why should I hire you?
Summarize in 3-5 bullets why YOU are THE person for THIS job. Include how much experience you have in the field, what job-specific knowledge or skills you bring to the table, and industry-specific awards, certifications and professional memberships. Remember it’s only a few lines, make them count!
3. Focus on your own unique results.
Once the personal brand is established, present clear and consistent evidence of being who you say you are and having delivered to past employers what this employer needs most. You don’t necessarily have to start all over creating content. Give your current content the once over, one sentence at a time.
Ask yourself, besides key words for the job, have I mentioned the challenges I faced based on my experience and work environments? Does every sentence begin with an action verb? Have I specified how much, how many, how often, and other quantifiers that make my accomplishments unique and not something that will be read in any generic job description or in the next three resumes? Instead of listing the usual skills to put on a resume like this list below, include examples of how you use these skills:
- Analytical/Research Skills
- Interpersonal Abilities
- Communications Skills
- Leadership/Management Skills
A better list would be more like:
- Analyzed and researched top ways to …
- Coordinated with co-workers to create …
- Communicated with clients on …
- Lead a team of …
- Planned and organized the…
“Don’t pad your resume with buzzwords and fillers. HR and hiring managers read right through that. Instead, stick with meaty content that keeps the reader interested in learning more about you,” said Little, who has worked as a brand ambassador with Toyota, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Verizon and T-mobile. “It’s the results and accomplishments that get their attention.”
Bryant & Stratton College offers career resources to students as well as professional development courses. Contact the Admissions office or, if you are already a student, check out the Career Resources section
of our website.