There is so much resume-writing advice out there – books, articles and seminars – that there is bound to be a certain amount of bad information that makes its way in – into the resume folklore, as it were. There is such a thing as too much preparation – preparation that fills your head up with rules and tips so full, you feel you’ve lost the ability to trust yourself to do the right thing. It’s when you stop trusting yourself that these mistakes happen. When you feel this way, it’s time to ease up on yourself and just write a good resume. So the first resume tip you need is to let go of or the ones that hound you into using just the right kind of templates on Microsoft Word, and the ones that ask you to use the latest happening employment vernacular. Let’s try to separate the chaff from the grain and zero in on the rules you need to keep in mind to make that resume a success.
It’s getting so that people who call themselves “professionals” prove themselves to be less trustworthy each day that passes. You can’t enter a jobs website without being bombarded with professional resume writing services. And yet when you look at these resumes they write, it’s quite clear that they are really professional resume writers – they have no other profession. A resume is supposedly all about selling your brand to the hiring manager. Professionals at writing who haven’t ever sold anything, will never learn the basic truth about resume writing – that they need to directly address the thing the employer is interested in having an employee do if she hires them. If the very first thing you say on your resume subtly answers why he should be interested in hiring you, you have it made. If not, don’t hope for so much.
One of the most important resume tips you’ll hear has to do with keeping the first paragraph completely to the point. If you keep saying that you are “results-oriented” or something, but you can’t give the hiring manager what she is actually looking for in your resume – a direct and to the point answer to the question why she should hire you – not all the self-promoting clichés in the following paragraphs will help you. If you want to be seen as results-oriented, give her the results she’s looking for in the first paragraph. Tell her what you can do for the company, and back it up with outtakes from your experience and qualifications.
The length of your experience is certainly an important part of the ability to sell yourself. But merely selling yourself on your experience and qualifications, does not put you on level with other applicants who probably have more tempting numbers than you to flaunt. If you promote yourself as having nothing more than very tangible and ultimately reducible numbers in terms of your qualifications and experience, you become a replaceable commodity. You need to gloss up something here because mere commodities are relentlessly driven down in price. You want to give them specific information about what in the past, you have done for your employers to give them results, and what you will do now. No amount of fancy cover letter-editing resume tips are going to help you if you don’t show your potential employer exactly what his return on your investment is. And you need to give her proof.
If you follow the resume tips you see in the books and websites, you get the idea that employers need to see as much information about you as possible. Too much information is a very dangerous thing when you have a hiring manager who is swamped with hundreds of pointless applications that she needs to whittle down to the top four or five. If your application is long-winded and has too much information that at this stage is not even needed, you’ll be on the other pile in no time. Make sure that you understand that this stage of the interview is merely a weeding-out process. You only need to give as much information at this point as to let her decide if you basically make the cut.