Writing a resume that will perform effectively in today’s world of technology-driven job search, requires a certain level of professional know-how. That’s why I always recommend hiring a professional resume writing service if you can possibly afford it.
Think about it. You wouldn’t dream of doing a DIY plumbing or electrical job in your home if you lacked expertise in these areas, would you? Then obviously, when taking on the creation of the most financially important document of your life you’ll use a professional writing service whenever it is affordable.
However, if hiring a professional service isn’t an option, here are seven tips to help you create a strong resume, and they include some great FREE downloads you can use to get your resume project moving today:
1. Understand what your customer is buying
“Understand and sell to your customers’ needs” is the phrase that underlies all business success stories. In the same way, you need to create a resume tailored to your customers: the people in a position to hire you.
Your resume will work better when it focuses on the skills and experiences you bring to the responsibilities and deliverables of a specific target job. This requires that your resume focus on how employers think about, prioritize, and describe that job’s deliverables.
2. Fifty percent of your success is in the prep work
Decide on a single target job, one that you have the credentials and experience for. Do a Target Job Deconstruction (TJD) by collecting six job postings to analyze how your target employers think about and express their needs for that job. (Learn more and get FREE TJD download HERE). Prioritize their common requirements, and capture all the words and phrases used to describe them, in a fresh MS Word document. Then re-read this composite analysis of employers’ needs: you can now say, “this is how employers think about and describe the job I want.” This knowledge will help your resume get pulled from resume databases for review by recruiters.
3. Use a Target Job Title
Seven out of ten resume writers forget to follow contact information with a target job title. Every movie, TV show or book starts with a title: it gives focus and draws you in. A Target Job Title will help make your resume more visible in database searches and will give the recruiter immediate focus.
4. Skip the Job Objective
Starting your resume with a job objective is a waste of time and space. No recruiter or employer cares what you want until they know you have what they want. Your resume gets, on average, a first-time reading of 6 seconds so the first section is where you will either grab or lose the reader’s attention.
5. Include a Performance Profile
The first section of your resume should carry the title “Performance Profile,” and it should profile your ability to do this job. That’s why Secret #2 told you how to get inside your customer’s head and understand both his needs for this job and how he thinks about and expresses those needs.
Take the most common requirements from your TJD and rewrite them as your Performance Profile. Because long paragraphs are hard on the eyes, keep yours to a maximum of five lines; this can be followed by a second paragraph or a list of bullets. This will aid database visibility and create immediate resonance with a recruiter’s tired eyes.
6. Professional Skills
Clear identification of the skills you bring to a target job is critical to your resume’s database performance and to a strong first impression on a recruiter. Following your Target Job Title and Performance Profile should be a Professional Skills or Core Competencies section.
This is simply a list of all the skills you bring to the job. Placing this list near the top improves your performance with search engine algorithms, and provides the recruiter with a series of words and phrases that drive home your suitability.
7. Keyword Scatter
Repeat each skill listed in the Professional Skills section in the context of the jobs where that skill was developed and applied. This puts your skill claims in context for the reader, and every time you mention a skill a second or third time, it doubles and triples your resume’s ranking in a search that uses those words.
Need more help? I’ve written a book for those who can’t hire a professional resume writing service, but who want to create professional-looking documents from their own home computers. Check out this video to learn if Knock Em Dead Resumes & Templates is right for you:
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