Whether you are transitioning to a new career or looking to achieve your next professional milestone, a successful job search is all about selling yourself to prospective employers. Never thought you’d be in sales? When competing for a job, you are marketing yourself as both the product and the salesperson, and your most effective tool is your resume.
In my experience as a Career Coach, I’ve found that many people don’t know how to sell themselves when looking for a job. Writing about yourself is difficult, no doubt about it. That is why so many people hire professional resume help.
Here are a few key points to make it easier:
Write for your audience. Always write your resume for your readers: recruiters and hiring managers. Do not write your resume for yourself. Remember, your resume is a sales tool and you want potential employers to take notice when they read it.
Use the current reverse chronological resume format. This new format, which I have found to be the most effective, is the layout preferred by most recruiters and hiring managers. Recruiters spend, on average, six seconds reading your resume and functional resumes are difficult to scan quickly. Keeping up with today’s resume trends will also help you avoid ageism in the hiring process, which does exist despite age discrimination laws.
Do it now! Right now is a great time to update your resume. Why now? There’s always a hiring push at the end of the year, and you want to be in a position to take advantage of the momentum of the business cycle.
Tips for a powerful resume:
So keeping those general points in mind, what can you do to sell your qualifications and expertise to prospective employers?
- Target a specific job function. Present yourself, your experience and your skills, as a perfect fit for the job.
- Address the needs of the employer. Do your research to learn everything you can about the company. Your resume should make it clear that you are someone who can come in and make an immediate impact.
- Differentiate yourself from your competition. If every job candidate can do X, how do you stand out? Can you do X better? Faster? At a higher skill level?
- Communicate clearly and concisely. Recruiters and hiring managers see a lot of resumes; don’t make them hunt for your most important information and definitely don’t make them read too much.
- Use a clean and easy-to-read format. Your resume needs to have just the right amount of white space. You don’t want a cluttered, busy look that’s difficult to read, but on the other hand, too much blank space will make your resume look incomplete.
- Make your resume age-neutral. You can overcome age bias by playing up your strengths and eliminating early career information. You don’t want the reader to question your age; you want them to only see you as a valuable skillset they need on their team.
- Optimize your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems, the online application software that companies use to handle their recruiting operations. If your resume doesn’t get through this filter, you will get lost in the “resume black hole”.
To land that great job at your target company, you need to tell a compelling story. Make the most of this opportunity to sell yourself with an interesting resume that speaks directly to recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t worry, you are not bragging – you are sharing information about yourself with someone who is asking you for it.
As a Career Coach, I have helped hundreds of people land rewarding jobs with generous compensation packages. I will guide you through the entire resume creation process, from articulating your unique skills and identifying compatible roles to developing quantified career accomplishments. I will provide direction, structure and support to help build your interview confidence and position you for success.
There are many resume writing companies out there today, but only through the best resume writing services can you work directly with the writer on your resume preparation. That is what I offer my clients: friendly, personal 1:1 collaboration. Contact me today to see how I can help you gain the competitive EDGE and build the career you really want. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 658-6480.