In case you haven't heard, resumes are different today. They have to contain compelling reasons for the employer to want to call you. What that means for you is that each resume you send out MUST BE customized to meet the specific needs of the employer you are applying to. So now that you know that, what else can you do to get your phone to ring?
1) Ditch the objective, go with a super summary!
What I mean is that your summary should be void of trite fluff such as "work well independently", "excellent communication skills", "hard worker, dedicated, loyal team player"…that kind of fluff.
Operations and Manufacturing Manager with over five year's experience in leadership, finance and operations. Exceptional knowledge of business practices including: productivity, lead time, delivery, quality and safety. Hands-on knowledge of production. Strategic thinker with the ability to look "outside the box" for new and exciting ways of doing business. Recognized as an effective and fair leader, keeping employees focused and working towards mutual goals. Additionally skilled in dispute resolution having successfully negotiated the three contracts with the bargaining unit. Knowledgeable and skilled in implementation of Lean practices and Six Sigma.
2) Cut the fat
Instead of dumping everything have done, list just those accomplishments that are most important to the reader. (Read the job posting over and over and develop stories you know they will want to hear about) If you state in your most recent job that you have developed a team by motivating them towards their goals, don't tell that story again in older jobs. Writing is a series of edits, go back over the resume and look for duplication of key skills/talents. Edit, edit, edit.
3) Create an image of what you want the employer to know about you
Put on your sales and marketing hat! Every word you use and everything you tell about on your resume should have a message. Ask yourself "why am I telling the employer this about myself?" Then ask yourself "have I stated clearly in this?" Frequently, we think we have. Instead of using a short phrase, start of with a longer string of words. If you want the employer to know that you were promoted to manager because you had successfully trained new employees, then say it!
Have other people read your resume and instead of asking them to critique it, which will only get you conflicting advice, ask them to read a part of it and ask them what they know you are good at doing…did they get it?
Writing a resume is tough work. But don't obsess, there is no such thing as a "perfect resume" just one that gets your phone to ring.
And oh, by the way, job search isn't about the resume. It is about establishing relationships, so get out from behind the computer and meet some people!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.