A resume makeover does not have to be an all-weekend event. You can squeeze a quick resume makeover in a couple of spare hours. My advice is to tackle the three biggest resume problems now! After that you can fine-tune your resume to perfection. There is no time like the present to improve your resume.
Problem One: Readers Are Frustrated Searching for Necessary Facts
Solution: Make It Easy on the Reader
Hiring managers and recruiters are inundated with resumes. As they speed through one resume after another, they don’t have ten minutes to search to find a reference to your PeopleSoft skills on page 2 buried in a 12-line job summary. An organized resume begs for the “delete” button. This is not “Where’s Waldo.” Your best bet is to format your resume into logical categories. Keep each section concise. Use a four to seven-line summary for each position, following by no more than seven bullets with your strongest accomplishments. Store necessary facts in appropriate categories, such as: Education, Technical Expertise, and Professional Certifications. An easy-to-read format will lift you above the hundreds of other candidates.
Problem Two: The Reader Can’t Easily See You as a “Fit”
Solution: Narrow Your Focus and Increase Your Results
In an effort to broaden their options, many candidates will stuff the resume with a wide range of diverse skills, accomplishments, and areas of expertise. Having many skills is a wonderful thing and having several career options is even better. The problem with creating one resume for multiple job types is the reader does not get a sense that you are the perfect fit for their job. If you appear that you will take any job with the right salary that does not instill a sense of confidence that you will be in the position for the long haul. On the flipside, if you customize your resume for each job opportunity, the reader can easily identify you as a match. Narrow your focus as your submit your resume and your interview request rate will rise.
Problem Three: Too Many Errors
Solution: Proofread and Ask a Peer to Proofread
Needless to say, there is no room for errors on a resume. Your grammar, spelling, and language flow must be perfect. Don’t rely solely on your software application’s spellcheck and grammar tools. Proofread your resume forward and backward – literally. Print your resume and read it from top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top. The reverse read often opens your brain to catch errors you did not see in the first read. Also, solicit the help of a friend with impeccable attention to detail.
Addressing those three big resume problems will improve your resume significantly. If you are struggling with your resume, consider hiring a professional resume writer. The time and money you invest in your resume will provide a considerable return in the future.