Part 3: Crafting a Winning Resume
Create the Resume that Blows the Others Away
You’ve been careful to follow the conventional resume knowledge:
- No Misspellings – check
- A neat, crisp, easy-to-read format – check
- Only one page – check
So, why aren’t hiring managers lining up to schedule interviews?
More often than not, the reason has to do with your predictable, same-old, mundane resume.
The importance of a unique, stand-out resume in the hiring process cannot be understated – both from the point of view of a candidate and of a recruiter.
Using the same, standard format with weak, generic descriptions does nothing to catch a recruiter’s eye – even if all words are spelled correctly.
At Goliath, resumes pass through our inboxes constantly and, as a result, we can quickly recognize candidates with the best shot of landing the interview (and, ultimately, the job).
Winning Resume Tip #1: Show the Hiring Manager you care
All job seekers should remember two things:
(1) every hiring manager will get hundreds of resumes for each job posting, and
(2) each hiring manager typically juggles several postings simultaneously
So, before you hit submit, just imagine looking at a hundred similar pieces of paper with thousands of the same adjectives listed on them day in and day out.
Standing out isn’t necessarily about format – it’s about quality, substance, branding and addressing the skills the job posting is asking for.
Your resume should be tailored to the job posting – or, at minimum, to the title of the opportunity for which you’re applying to.
If you already have a standard resume, crafting a more tuned-in one for a job posting does not take much time and goes a long way in making it through the pile.
The first step for any candidate is to mold descriptions of past experiences to seamlessly fit the job requirements – even using similar words to help a recruiter easily connect the past experience with the specific request of the posting.
Doing this shows the hiring manager that you took time to read, understand and thoughtfully consider this new opportunity.
Winning Resume Tip #2: List everything
One mistake that we often see is leaving out experiences that a candidate might feel are unimportant, short-lived or potentially detrimental to getting an interview.
Examples of these situations might include omitting a short-tenured project or a major project that received negative press for continued delays.
We encourage job seekers to list all positions they’ve held and the dates associated with those stints. As you do so, begin to think about how to talk about those not-so-great projects with a future hiring manager.
Just like we teach our kids – always be honest. Good candidates actually use conversations about these unsuccessful experiences as an opportunity to build a relationship with the interviewer.
Winning Resume Tip #3: Don’t write down WHAT you did, explain WHY it mattered
Showcasing the completion of a project on your resume is fine.
Saying why your contribution to the project mattered is better.
As you look back on past positions or projects, clearly highlight your personal achievements during the project.
For example, you may have:
- Saved the company $XX and XX days due to efficiency gains
- Trained new employees to help ramp them to full speed in less than a week
- Interfaced with customers to ensure an on-going and open dialogue
If you did all of this, make sure your resume tells the hiring manager about it.
We suggest that you take a look at your existing resume and go a level deeper on all accomplishments you’ve listed. Be concise at the same time as you are specific about the stamp you left on a past project or company.
While you list your accomplishments, ask yourself, “So what?”
Your resume should document your professional legacy – it tells the story of your career path to today.
Your resume matters, so show the hiring manager that you took time to thoughtfully and thoroughly create it – that is way to will stand out against the pile of standard, one-pagers that only took time to spell-check.
Need help with crafting your resume to land your next opportunity? Contact the Goliath team today.