Resume Review: Your 15-Second Sell
The perfect resume may exist, luckily there is a whole lot of variety in the way we can craft a resume. No matter how you slice it, the key objectives are the same however. Your goal is to seize the average 15 seconds that a recruiter or hiring manager will accord your resume, and be the one he/she calls. How do you do that?
The goal of a resume is to get an interview and ultimately a job. The perfect resume will do this like an advertisement that spurs the consumer to action. You must brand and differentiate yourself, and show the value and skills you bring to the job in question – demonstrate how your employment would solve the company’s challenges and meet their goals.
Pre-screening is often done from a database or online search. Your resume needs to include the keywords associated with the position and companies/industry where you want to be hired. If you are preparing an open resume; you need to anticipate the keywords. If you are applying for a specific position with a company; read, research, and understand the company’s needs to inform your keyword choice. The next reader of your resume will be scanning it for specific content. Keep these keywords in mind as you build your resume.
Make a great first impression, cut to the chase. Brand yourself with a tagline. This is like an objective but goes further creating an image of you as the professional. This tagline should explicitly and concisely identify you. It will specify the job you are applying for and the business challenges you can solve.
The description of your work history should show the value proposition you represent. The very brief paragraph or the bullet points that elaborate your skills and experience should back-up your branding statement. Make each bullet count, so you keep the reader’s attention and make sure that your value proposition is obvious and compelling. Feature your accomplishments, enumerate your goals met and/or exceeded, demonstrate the value you provided such as higher revenue produced, products brought to market on budget and on time, cost cutting results.
A skills section at the end serves to quickly summarize the knowledge, skills, certifications, abilities that you offer. This ranges from general to specific embracing technology, functional, industry, management and soft skills.
Remember, this is your 15-second ad. It must look nice and professional, and the content must present you as the solution to the business problem in a compelling and immediate way.