There’s a lot of resume writing advice out there, and keeping it straight can be pretty difficult. If you find all this advice a bit confusing, just keep three ‘Rs’ in mind: Relevance, results and realism.
In addition to being a simple-to-remember, the three Rs approach is designed to get you thinking like an employer. When reviewing candidates, employers want to see people who represent themselves accurately and are very qualified for an open position. If you give a potential employer what they want, you’re more likely to get an interview and the job you’re seeking.
A resume is not an official autobiography or a deposition. It’s essentially a marketing document for job seekers looking to get the attention of a hiring manger. It’s important to keep this in mind as your singular focus when writing your resume. You need to figure out what parts of your professional background are most relevant to a hiring manager, and what parts are irrelevant.
The issue of relevance is particularly important, considering hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time looking at any one individual resume. Research has shown the average time a hiring manager spends looking at a resume is a less than 30 seconds.
Your resume needs to spotlight your most relevant abilities and experiences, because hiring mangers do not read anything that looks irrelevant to the job they are attempting to fill. For instance, if you were hiring for a laboratory job, would you want to read about someone working as a busboy at Olive Garden?
The best way to show a recruiter you can do a good job for the company is to show what you have done in the past, such as major achievements or winning awards. For example, if a potential employer is looking to fill a sales job, you should put your best sales figures front and center on your resume.
It’s important to try to quantify your results as much as possible, because this makes for a much more compelling sales pitch. Saying you handled million-dollar accounts for a company isn’t as compelling as saying you handled “a dozen accounts that ranged in value from $10 million to $34 million.”
People worried about how they stack up against the competition may be tempted to oversell their abilities or achievements. For instance, someone who mentored new employees might be tempted to count this as management experience, even though it clearly isn’t.
Experienced hiring managers have seen countless resume. Their well-trained eyes are used to catching exaggerations and truth-stretching. Even if you are able to slip a half-truth past a hiring manager and land the job, you could be found out when you can’t deliver on a task you said you could do.
At Action Group Staffing, we help job seekers with everything from resume writing to interview prep. If you’re currently looking for job seeking assistance, please contact us today.