I’ve interacted with and assisted countless personnel in reaching their professional goals through resume writing. Some I have developed their resume and others just needed a resume critique:
Although individuals come from different industries, the formula is the same. In this article, I’m going to share four steps to follow to write a winning resume and why each step is essential to get to the interview.
Make the keywords in the job description the cornerstone of your resume. The content of your resume is the most important feature to the hiring authority. You have to sell your experience to the reader in a way that encourages them to call you! The first step is to copy and paste the job description into a Microsoft word document. If the description is in paragraph form, separate the paragraph into individual sentences so you can see it clearly. No matter what industry you are in, you are selling something to the reader so you must capture their attention immediately.
Here are four steps for writing a resume that captures the reader’s attention:
- Start with demographic information – name, number, email, address etc. readers should have no question how to contact you.
- Begin with a brief summary of your knowledge, skills, and abilities -or- skills bullet points. For example, Inventory Control-Project Management-Safety Analysis-HAZMAT etc. This section will quickly allow the reader to learn about your experience, so be sure to put time into coming up with a powerful presentation. This provides a prime opportunity to capture the reader’s attention.
- Develop content of your work experience, presented in an impactful way, focusing on keywords from the particular industry and job description. As the job description is broken down in individual sentences, read the sentence and explain how you performed what the employer is looking for. Even if it is not your industry, find the transitional knowledge, skills, and abilities. Maybe you were a Warehouse Supervisor, in charge of 4 personnel – developing performance appraisals, approving time off, designing work schedules, ensuring policies/procedures are being followed. These are transitional skills for a Human Resources position.
*Note: this doesn’t mean create pages of content. You want to be complete but do not overdo it with 10 pages of content. Develop a strong, complete, and precise presentation of your experience.
- Be honest and sell yourself. The interview process, probationary period, and reference check will expose your true experience so ensure you are honest about your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Tell the reader why you are the best person for the job (through the content).
Keep your resume detailed and tight. The reader will remain engaged and will appreciate a clean, detailed, and concise resume. 2-4 pages formatted well are a lot more attractive than 5-10 pages of unorganized content (federal resumes are longer than civilian resumes). Your financial wellbeing is important for you and your family. Take the first step in securing your future!