Shannon Smedstad | ,| By
Today, when I opened my inbox and skimmed new messages, I noticed this headline: 6 Words that Kill Your Resume. The blog post that followed began with “Writing a resume seems easy.” I paused and thought to myself, you know what? For a lot of people, writing a resume doesn’t seem easy. There are not only resume words to avoid but recruiter expectations and design preferences. This month alone, several friends asked me to review resumes, and all required edits and had multiple opportunities to improve.
During a recent Twitter chat about resumes and online job applications, the moderator tweeted a question to me, “Can u immediately spot a professionally written resume?” My answer: “Sure, but not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. Some people just need help articulating their awesomeness.”
Now, I am not a certified professional resume writer (CPRW), though I have helped hundreds of people with their resumes, both as a function of my full-time job and “on the side.” I am an advocate for and understand the value in having a well-written resume. Do you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a “professionally” written resume? Maybe, maybe not — that’s for you to decide.
Resume & Cover Letter Tips for Articulating Your Awesomeness
– Your Resume is a Marketing Tool. Recruiters may not always accept resumes during career fairs, but they still want to review them via email or their company’s applicant tracking system. Your resume is your marketing tool and key to landing interviews; you’ll need one in order to sell your experience to the recruiting gate keepers.
– Recruiters actively source candidates online. Having a resume that clearly articulates your work experience, areas of expertise, accomplishments and strengths, technical and work-related skills, and anything else that makes you awesome will better your chances of being found via resume databases, LinkedIn or Boolean searches.
– Resume or Online Profile is Expected. Hiring managers still want to see resumes of potential candidates and those selected for interviews. They may even ask you for a copy during on-site interviews. Therefore having a well-written resume, free of typos and other errors that also highlights your skills and accomplishments, is important.
How to Get Feedback and Insights from Experts Regarding Your Resume and Cover Letter
– Ask a friend who works in human resources to review your resume and provide suggestions. If you don’t have a friend in HR, ask a friend of a friend. Heck, reach out to your social networks and see if anyone works in recruiting and can give you some pointers.
– If You’re in College, Reach Out to Your Career Services Department. Your university actually employs people whose job it is to help you with your resume. Many schools often host resume workshops with employers, for free.
– Talk to Your Agency Recruiter. When working with an agency recruiter or executive search firm, ask for assistance. They are going to want to showcase you in the best way possible to their clients. It pays for them to put some polish on your resume.
– Negotiate Resume Writing Services in Your Severance Package. If you have been laid off or recently received notice of a layoff, talk to your HR department about any outplacement services they may be providing to employees. Depending on your tenure and/or level within the company, you may be able to negotiate outplacement as part of your severance package.
– Most Professional Associations Offer Member Services. If you’re a member of a professional association, check their website and see what career-related services are offered as member benefits.
– Read Books and Career Related Websites. A quick search on Amazon yields many resume writing books for under $10 and ebooks for less than $5. I’d recommend reading some of the customer reviews before deciding which book(s) to purchase.
– Follow resume writers on Twitter … better yet review their profile pages and click through to articles chocked full of resume advice. (I have created a list of tweeps actively sharing resume tips on Twitter.) You can also conduct a search on Twitter using #resumetips that will lead to people, blogs and even more advice.
Are you a professional resume writer or HR pro? If so, please share your best piece of resume advice below for our readers. If you are a job seeker looking for resume advice, post a question below. We’ll be checking post and sharing our own resume tips and tactics.
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