Getting passed over for jobs instead of landing interviews? Your true strengths might NOT be conveyed on the resume you send out or the LinkedIn Profile you’ve created.
Many people write a resume and LinkedIn Profile as if they must follow outdated “rules” – underselling their achievements and using generalities.
If you’re among them, here are 5 ways to reverse this situation and get noticed:
Emphasize your top 3-5 qualifications.
What do you REALLY want an employer to know about you? Instinctively write down your 3 to 5 strongest qualifications for the job.
For example, this could be a recent degree, your leadership capabilities, or your ability to bring in new business.
Now, write TO them! Emphasize these points at every turn, with accomplishments showing why you’ve achieved these wins and how your work relates to employer needs.
If your top career successes and credentials include new hospital safety standards and nursing team leadership, you could show “Oversaw 45-member nursing team and influenced 54% increase in patient safety through new training programs.”
Perhaps you’re known for leading sales teams, increasing operational effectiveness, or sourcing strong talent. Highlight these aspects of your background with Operational Efficiency, Talent Strategy, or Sales Management as keywords on LinkedIn and throughout your resume.
Not sure what strengths to highlight? Find an online job posting and copy each requirement that matches your expertise – then rewrite them to describe how YOU’VE performed each one, along with the results of your efforts.
Stop taking up space with mundane details.
Your resume and LinkedIn Profile have limited, valuable space you should use to convey your strongest qualifications. Take out redundancies and details most people already know about your profession.
For example, it is generally assumed that accountants are familiar with the general ledger, and that network administrators back up servers – but do they know you’ve helped cut costs 31% or that your new IT team eliminated 99% of outages?
Resist the urge to upload your job description into LinkedIn or your resume; instead, use the keywords, take out the tasks, and ELABORATE on your successes.
Conserve “resume real estate” by giving employers hard facts about the impact you have had on your work environment, customers, and bottom line, enabling them to see how you’ve outdone peer leaders in other companies.
List the most important aspects of your credentials FIRST.
PLEASE don’t put old degrees and experience at the top of your resume! Employers want to know what you’ve done lately, especially when it’s tied directly to their needs.
If you have leadership experience and you’re pursuing an executive position, highlight it. If you’re constantly asked about a specific qualification, put it front and center in your LinkedIn About section or your resume profile summary. If you just earned a cutting-edge certification, mention it right away.
In other words, don’t hide your achievements! Push top wins to the TOP of your LinkedIn profile or resume as much as possible.
Don’t use “rules” unless they apply to you.
Don’t assume your resume must fit in a single page – especially if it means you’ll be cramming too much detail into it.
See How Long Should Your Executive Resume Be?
Since no one is really sure of the origination of the one-page “rule,” it is best to just forget about it and concentrate on readability instead. This is much easier when you use at least a 10 or 11-point font and plenty of white space.
Essentially, there are no rules. Just refrain from using an objective statement (very outdated), references (should be kept separate), or the use of Times New Roman (try Calibri instead) on your resume.
Quantify everything where possible.
One of the biggest rules in the resume and social media industry is “show, don’t tell.” A very effective way to demonstrate the full impact of your work is to pull as many metrics into your resume as possible.
To get yourself into the mode of including numbers, look at each sentence and try to think like a 4-year-old and ask the basic questions. So you brought in new business: how much? If you reduced costs: by what percentage?
“Created 23% new revenue with first digital product offering” is much more interesting than “Built digital product including all customer requirements, leading to additional growth.” Get to the point and show your ability to drive results.
Ask yourself the kind of questions that employers might want to know in an interview, and you’ll soon find that your resume contains some exciting facts and quantifiable numbers that will catch the reader’s eye.