Technology has revolutionized corporate recruitment, and if you don’t know what it takes to build a killer resume for today’s job search, your resume simply will not work. And if your resume doesn’t work, you won’t work.
Here are seven secrets that form the foundation of every killer resume.
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.
Sound daunting? You bet, but I have a solution. Your resume is the most financially important document you will ever own and that’s why I recommend hiring a professional resume writing service. But understand that it isn’t an affordable option for everyone, so I’ve put together Knock Em Dead Resumes & Templates. Check out this video to learn if it’s right for you:
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