A friend of mine recently lost her job due to covid-19 and came to me for help writing her resume to two jobs she wanted to apply to. I cringed inside. Writing a resume, for me, it’s awful. I’d rather go to the gynecologist once a week for a year. Does that sound like hyperbole? Yeah, but I really, really don’t like writing resumes, even when people pay me excellent money to do it. I really have to get in a zone to do it, so I developed a strategy to tackle this activity to tailor every resume.
Crank up the deep focus playlist and let’s get to it because I am giving you my top 3 tips to make this bearable, easy and quick with a bonus non resume tip. We will be framing and leveraging the experiences that match what the Recruiter and hiring manager are looking for.
1. Make the Recruiter’s life easy.
On average a recruiter will look at your resume for 6 seconds. This is your time to hook them and have them shortlist you. Format your resume to be easy to read.
Name, contact information and your LinkedIn link (be sure to hyperlink it)
Work Summary – here you will summarize your relevant work experience and show how you’ve solved problems.
Use action words and avoid using fluff words like passionate and dedicated.
Use skill words to match more in case the company is using an A.I. in their Applicant Tracking System.
Under past experiences use no more than 6 bullet points and you can repeat the experience from your summary in this section with problems, how you solved them and the results. Start with most impressive and work your way backwards.
Don’t just use industry specific acronyms. Sometimes recruiters may not be industry recruiters and you don’t want to accidentally be dismissed on accident.
Be sure to save it as a PDF with your name and last name as the file name.
2. Proofread … a lot
While most people understand people make mistakes and it tends to not be fatal, during sourcing from hundreds of applications little things will get nitpicked. Don’t give them a reason to turn you down if it’s avoidable.
Read it aloud. Do the sentences make sense?
Rad it backwards. This helps you catch mistakes with similar sounding words.
Have two to three friends read it for you. More set of eyes can’t hurt.
Make changes where needed and do the above steps again until it’s error proof.
3. Don’t make stuff up
It will get discovered during background checks.
Use your experience and write it in a way that the Recruiter will understand matches you to the job.
Use your contributions to collaborative work and add the results but don’t take credit for all of it.
If you have gaps in your resume don’t try and do clever edits. Gaps should not matter to good Recruiters and hiring managers. Your experience is what matters.
Bonus: Make sure your LinkedIn is comprehensive and your About or experiences aligns similarly to the resume you just put together.
Social proof is powerful so be sure you are asking for recommendations and everything matches up correctly.
Ask for endorsements in the skill sets you have most experience in and want to be involved in.
This sounds like a lot but it’s not. Once you do it once or twice for the jobs your want it will be a snap to do. I coached my friend through this process, and she was able to write on her own and thus saving me from doing it, being a good friend and not bailing on her. Writing your own resume is always best because you know what you have done and what you can do.
You are your own expert and while you may be in my friend’s shoes right now, no job, overwhelmed or scared, know that you have value, this isn’t forever and you can do anything. You just have to help others see the potential in front of their eyes sometimes. So frame it for them.