Your resume is the most important document in any job search. But what if you’re submitting resume after resume and receiving no results at all — not even a call? Your resume may be fatally flawed.
How can a resume betray a job seeker? It’s not just typos or poor formatting. The biggest flaw for a resume is when it fails to showcase a person’s accomplishments, contributions, and results, and instead spouts a job description of each position held.
Use these two tips to make sure your resume doesn’t betray you.
1. Think Big
Whatever jobs you’ve held think beyond the everyday tasks of your position. People get bogged down in the day-to-day details of their jobs, but when it comes to your resume, you’ve got to get out of the clutter and ask yourself, what does this work mean?’
If a manager is hiring for an administrative assistant, he already knows what an admin does and doesn’t want to see a resume that says an applicant can type and answer a phone. You have to go beyond that to point out your specific strengths.
Start by having big-picture conversations about what you do and how it serves the organization as a whole. If you’re in a support position, consider how successful the person you support is and how you help her do her job better. What role do you have in her successes? Those are your accomplishments.
2. Be Clear
Focusing on your accomplishments rather than your specific responsibilities will help keep your resume concise. There’s a huge difference between a resume and a novel. The resumes summed up a 10 year career in a single page are something to be proud of.
Remember that resumes are typically skimmed for a mere six to eight seconds. Make sure you’re identifying the companies you worked for, how long you were there and if you earned a promotion. Those are things that people look for immediately. Also, if your job title is long and vague, tighten it up so that people immediately understand what you’ve done.
Given the time you have to catch an employer’s eye, a focused, accomplishment-driven resume is the way to go. If you are loaded up on peripheral stuff, it’s too hard for a hiring manager to find your story.