What’s Missing From Your Résumé?

Resume_1 Do you ever wonder what goes through someone’s mind when they read your résumé? Are elements missing? Could your work history information be explained better? Employers are good at evaluating résumés because they’ve seen so many and have done it for a long time. To help you design a résumé that gets a second look, here are five standout tips.

1. Include a brief summary. Who are you and why should an employer be interested? Highlight your skills and abilities at the beginning of your résumé. The key is to tell the employer why the company should hire you – or what you can bring to the team. Share information like years of experience you have and highlight two or three of your skills. Be specific and keep your résumé summary to about two sentences. Use this as a quick way to grab an employer’s attention and encourage further reading.  

2. Don’t be overly wordy. Using more words on your résumé will not necessarily make you look more impressive to a potential employer. They don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading a lengthy document – instead they’re scanning for what stands out. Since you won’t have a lot of time to impress them, be sure to catch their attention quickly. Be clear, concise, and get to the point.

3. Be honest. In other words, don’t say you have five years of experience in something if you don’t. It’s always in your best interest to be truthful because an employer will find out. Employers are being more and more cautious about hiring. They’re not only checking your references, but they’re also searching for information online. Make sure you’re honest and upfront. 

4. Identify your results. Employers are more interested in your impact than your job duties, so include quantifiable information on your résumé to identify your accomplishments. Don’t just tell an employer what your responsibilities have been, but also identify how you’ve made a difference. For instance, if you’ve previously helped raise funds for something, tell how much money you received. If you created a system for streamlining your company’s printing process, tell how much time and money you saved the company. Also, if you’ve managed individuals, specify exactly how many.

5. Brag a little. If you’ve won an award or received a certificate for a job well done, make sure you share it on your résumé. Now is your chance to let others know why you’re amazing and the right person for the job. Create a short section at the end of your résumé and title it “Accomplishments.” Then, list out a few of your greatest achievements.

Creating a résumé isn’t a difficult process, but it does take a little strategizing and time. Block off some time on your calendar to focus on yours, and use these tips and others from our Résumé Boot Camp to ensure that yours isn’t missing something it needs.

Comments

  1. Scott

    I had a job counselor help me with the description of my previous work. This lead to a document that gives a detailed description of work tasks along with results that were accomplished.
    I do not know if having the amount of detail is what is hurting me or not. Every potential employer gives me the Over/Under qualified response whenever I have an in person interview or if they take the time to give me a response about their decision via a printer letter.
    I alway have too much or too little in the eyes of potential employers.

  2. Cheryl

    This site is extremely valuable and I’ll use boot camp. I am having so much trouble shortening my resume, simply because my most important duties were so numerous. I have used incomplete sentences, taken out extraneous words, but it is still 3 pages long. From my interviews, I can tell that the person has not read it. From my experience in daily communication with multiple individuals by email, I know they will only read the first 3 sentences or so. I cannot sum up my experience and the specific skills that I am required to include for a higher education instution. Professors, making up all of management, or ex-teachers, are notorious for not reading communication, so it seems a Catch-22 situation. The job requires specific experience, yet no one will read the resume to find out that I have that experience. Then the interview ends up bogged down in, “Have you used (some specific website)?” or “If you are a color, what color are you?” The big problem with interviews is internet intervew questions that have nothing to do with my needing to tell them what I can do – and they rarely ask and do not read the resume to find out. Since my interviews when I was younger were entirely different, I am assuming they are just filling time because they have no intention of considering me when they discover I am in my late 50’s. It would be nice to see this problem addressed on this blog – it is everywhere, and particularly in a college, because they have no reason to hire someone very competent but would rather hire a friend’s niece or church acquaintance, since they have no accountability or are responsible for the bottom line.

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