Professional Resume: The Art and Science of Being Remembered by Employers

Do you use resumes to your advantage?

Are you using resumes to be memorable, and get interviews?

 

Ages ago, resumes were long and had no real layout. Today, resumes are seen as important, at least in providing employers with cursory information to form an opinion.

The candidates that reap rewards are those that constantly stay relevant in regards to the breakthroughs and practices in their field. Employers want these proactive and initiative-taking individuals. Resumes can illustrate this too.

A professional resume that is different, yet personalised and concise will suggest that 14 flickrcandidates know what’s hot in resume writing, suggesting that they are forward looking individuals. Dull and ‘templateish’ resumes point to the opposite. Resume templates should be used as a guide or starting point, not be your entire resume strategy.

Each industry has its quirks and allowances for creativity for resumes. These guidelines are for those still wondering about the best way to approach resumes as a whole, for millennials first entering the job market.

 

 

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Purpose Driven Resumes

Before anything, ponder on what resumes accomplish.

To get a job? No. A professional resume, at its core, is made with one purpose: to get you an interview.

 

Blueprint for Unique Resumes

 

Draw the eye of the beholder

2015 is all about eye-catching layouts. Format it differently to stand out and highlight your experience and qualifications. Your resume format has to be different and capture your personality and industry.

Please do not rely on generic template resumes; they should be used only as an initial starting point. You are saying “I’m a generic person!” when you use generic templates.

 

Important to Minor

One thing that still stands as a must is the top to bottom rule. The most important and relevant information, as well as your winner points, should be put on top, like a movie trailer. Think of it as trying to land a bite, your very first few points being your bait.

 

Visual Candy

As I keep mentioning, be different, stand out!

Example: Bullet points are most commonly used still in resumes today; why not try bolding the first letter of each point?

I am a technically skilled person, where I created algorithms to help develop key search term…

Within fieldwork, my practical skills are showcased, as I often created whole systems in…

Colour can be another useful way to stand out, as most resumes stick to black text and white background. Different colours can be used to highlight points of importance.

 

Do without compatibility issues

Key Tip: Make sure you save or convert your resume file into something that can be accessed by most devices and systems.

The worst thing that can happen is your resume not being viewed because they couldn’t open it.

I am not saying that a pop up resume book would be feasible unless that is what your job entails. But remember, any little tweak that helps you stand out will also tell the person reading your resume that you are creative and know how to stand out.

 

Techniques to Showcase Who ‘You’ Are

 

Story Telling

Being objective in how you word your accomplishments is becoming another cliché. Employers find it much easier to read a short story of your accomplishments.

Humanising and letting your personality shine through is a plus, as employers want to know who you are, as well as all the amazing things you’ve achieved.

Objective Example: “Created a CRM system that increased customer activity by 15%, leading to a 25% increase in revenue.”

VS.

Story Example: “Tailoring the CRM systems at (X), I aimed for a personal and friendly CRM system, which helped and encouraged customers in their purchases. It resulted in a 25% revenue gain, keeping both my company and customers happy.

 

Relevance is Just as Relevant Today

Time is money, and employers value their time.

Don’t: Pile up your resume with irrelevant information.

It’s a great way of getting your resume dropped for another one. Begin with core job skills, and relevant experience to back it up. Anecdotal evidence reveals resumes are read under 30 seconds (source). Be relevant and concise, where 30 seconds is enough to know what you have to offer.

 

Back points up in why you are a perfect fit for the job, relating to the industry, company, and job.

Example: Searching up what the CEO said in an interview about what sort of people he wants in his organisation, quote it in relating how you are that sort of person.

 

Seek inspiration from Others

Check out what other employees in that job are doing and how they told their ‘stories’. Look at senior staff members, or people you aspire to be and see how they approach talking about their skills.

Practical Tip: Look up experts and leaders on Twitter and LinkedIn, and follow them.

Learn and see what you can use and apply it in your resume, as these are experts utilising techniques that work.

 

Data, Statistics: Give it a Number

I did say the objective tone of voice was fast becoming obsolete, but numbers still win brownie points.

Numbers tell employers the result of your work, so don’t lie, as they can check up and call you out. You can change an average point into an awesome one, simply by quantifying it.

Example: “I sold pens at a charity” vs. “I sold, over a period of 5 hours, approximately 60 pens, which accounted for 35% of total funds raised”.

 

Volunteer, or ‘Not’ Work Stuff

Don’t be afraid of adding volunteer work, though put it at the end if it isn’t relevant.

Often, you may be able to obtain licenses or certificates for volunteering. Certificates can differentiate a simple volunteer role to a professional one.

Example: ‘Fellow Honorary Red Cross Team Member’. Vs. Red Cross Volunteer

Try and use the above points to tailor any experiences you think may help, as some organisations do provide training & certificates for specific volunteer positions.

 

In Closing

Overall, resumes are what you make of it. However, keep in mind that time is probably the most critical factor, so keep it short but concise. Make it an easy read, where you aren’t too creative and jar readers from overwhelming stimuli.

 

How do you make resumes stand out? What tips resonated with you?

Please share your resume tips and insights in the comments below.

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