When you hear the saying “a picture tells a thousand words”, this means that a picture can tell a story just as easily as a large amount of text. The same is true about your professional resume. Your resume can tell the reader a lot about the type of person you are and the type of worker you will be.
During one of my earliest roles as a recruiting agent, I was asked to find a shortlist of 5 candidates to fulfill a HR position. The position was an entry level role for a very well known and respected investment bank and although the client had instructed several requirements that they wanted in the right candidate (e.g. Bachelor Degree), the most important aspect was to find a candidate that would be the “right fit” for this company.
We began our search for the candidate by placing a job advert in one of the online job portals. Within 3 hours we had over 150 resumes sitting in our inbox. By the end of the day we had another 400 resumes (at that stage we decided to take the job advert of the Internet). With our client urgently calling us wanting to know how soon they would receive resumes of potential candidates, we had the task of trying to sort through the huge amount of resumes and find the top 5 candidates.
How to stand out from the competition:
First impressions count! It is estimated that a hiring manager or recruitment agent will spend no more than 15 -30 seconds reading through your resume before either deciding to continue reading or pressing delete. Unfortunately there is not one secret that will guarantee your resume will stand out from the competition, but there are many factors that will get your resume deleted. In my experience the first thing I look for in a resume is professionalism.
Spelling Mistakes and bad grammar:
It is an unforgiveable sin to have any spelling errors on your resume. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar send out a negative signal that that the candidate is careless, does not take pride in his or her work and lacks the professionalism that the client demands. Without even reading through more of the resume I would delete this resume.
Layout and Presentation:
It is an undisputed fact that if a hiring manager has two resumes sitting on the table, they are instinctively going to be drawn to the resume that is professionally presented and easy to read. No matter what the resumes say, the first impression is already made. If both candidates share similar skills and experiences, just take a guess at which resume the hiring manager is going to choose.
When you sit down to write your resume, remember one thing. Your resume is your representation. This 2-3 page document is all you have to prove to the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job. Present a professional picture and make sure that you stand out above your competition.
© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com
During the last decade, RedStarResume has successfully written hundreds of professional CV’s for candidates across the globe. From the student or entry level position to the CEO, our unique, custom-made CV’s are written specifically to match the goals and desires of our clients and to help them land jobs
Read more articles by RedStarResume including:
The best way to market your career for employment is through your resume. It is your first point of contact and first impression, and in today’s society first impressions count! If you want to get noticed and to leave an impact, your executive resume needs to be written perfectly and professionally. In accordance with the human resources experts, there are five basic concepts on how to write the executive resume.
An executive resume must be able to market your skills and highlight your qualifications and experience. As an executive, it is expected that you are able to perform the duties and responsibilities. It is also expected that you have the experience in this type of role, and therefore simply listing your basic duties is not enough to stand out as an executive. The executive resume must focus on the intangible skills that you can bring to the job and it needs to reflect your visions and skills.
Before you sit down to write your resume, imagine that you are the person reading it. So, this implies that you need to put yourself in the shoes of an employer. For every job application, your resume needs to be targeted and directly written towards the job you are applying for. If there is a great emphasis on leadership, then the executive resume needs to highlight leadership examples and areas of your past work history where you displayed leadership, supervision and managerial expertise to lead and guide employers. Using examples and quantifiable numbers will aid your resume.
Rather than a broad statement such as “exceeded sales targets on a monthly basis”, turn this statement into an accomplishment statement that uses evidence to back up the statement:
“Exceeded sales targets by 25% over a 12 month period while working in highly competitive markets, leading to an overall increase in expected revenue by $100,000”
The ten steps in drafting the perfect executive resume:
Step 1: The first step is to read through the job vacancy profile and begin to draft job objectives. Of course, they must be responsive to the position you are applying for
Step 2: Identify what knowledge, skills, and experiences will suit the job position best
Step 3: Create a shortlist of your qualifications and experiences that will reflect your suitability for the position
Step 4: Draw from your past experiences and search for accomplishments that prove you can effectively perform the job responsibilities
Step 5: Elaborate on your brief accomplishments that emphasize your abilities in handling the position you are applying for. It is also very important to emphasize how your work has benefited your previous employers
Step 6: Prepare your work history in chronological order, emphasizing your achievements. Concentrate on areas of how you added value to that positions (increased profit, reduced costs, implemented a new proposal, increased accuracy, project work, employee development, leadership initiatives, awards and recognition). Ensure that your work history is targeted towards the role you are applying for
Step 7: Don’t forget to list your educational qualifications, especially those that are relevant to the position. As an executive you have probably completed relevant training courses or leadership workshops that will further aid your resume application
Step 8: Presentation is crucial and the key is consistency!
Step 9: Target your resume with relevant information that will aid you in getting the job. At the executive level, the hiring manager is looking at your overall history – the tangible and intangible elements that make you an executive who can lead the business forward in a positive way. As mentioned previously, employers are looking for more than just work history when making personnel decisions at the executive level
Step 10: Don’t forget to use strategic keywords throughout your resume and even include 10-12 keywords to highlight your key skills. Examples of strategic keywords include:
Strategic & Tactical Planning, Relationship Management, Employee Development, New Business Development, Team Building, Training and Mentoring, Client Vendor Relations, Account Retention, Lead Generation, Presentation & Negotiation
Are you applying for an executive position and need a professional resume to ensure that you get the job? The team at RedStarResume can help you write a targeted resume that will portray all of your qualities to your potential future employer and highlight all of your key skills that will make you the perfect person for the job. You will be assigned a senior writer who has the experience and expertise in presenting your skills, capabilities and achievements.
© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com