Rethink and Reboot Your Resume with These 6 Tips

December 14th, 2011 | Posted in by

How’s your resume? Will it get you a better job? Or just another one? Follow these Red Canary tips and you’ll land a job you love and get a better offer too!

1. Don’t even look at your job description.

If you’re like many people, your resume is based on your job description. But, a resume is supposed to inform and inspire the reader. Most job descriptions can’t do either of these things. So, if you want a better resume, don’t use your job description as a starting point. Instead, think back to your performance and salary reviews. Then make a list of your finest moments with superiors, peers and customers. This should edit out the mundane and add the impact that leads to job offers and raises.

2. Plan your move. Don’t ask, but do tell.

Are you a product manager yearning for a bigger job? A developer who wants to be an architect? An inside rep who wants to sell in the field? Tell the reader what you want from your next move. You want to send the message that you know what you want. Label this section: Objective. Many people call this section their Career Summary. But, this can come across as saying, “Here’s what I’ve done. Do you have something for me?” Don’t ask the readers to decide what’s best for you. Tell them. Plan your next move.

3. Make the right introductions.

If you don’t work for a well-known company, then be sure to make some introductions. Give the reader some perspective on your previous employers. What services or software did they provide? What happened to headcount, revenue and ownership while you were employed? Were you hired by a well-known entrepreneur or leader? Don’t be shy to drop names and numbers. Try to provide this context in one sentence, and not more than two.

4. It’s all about accomplishments – not duties.

Be irresponsible. It goes without saying that sales reps sell, software developers develop and marketers market. What separates the players is how they performed. Were you promoted? Did you get raises? Your boss didn’t just give you these things for showing up on time. He did it because you overachieved and outperformed the others.

Did your efforts result in more revenue, profit or market share? Improved customer satisfaction? A solution to a longstanding problem? Figure out which metrics work best for you and use numbers and percentages to your advantage. Accomplishments are the key to landing better jobs for more money. So don’t be shy. It ain’t bragging, if it’s true.

5. Drop the keywords…

If you’re in sales, be sure to mention quota, awards and how you compared with your peers. If you’re in product management or marketing, talk about return on investment, profitability and revenue. If you’re a software engineer emphasize your role in shipping products, improving performance and quality. If you’re in professional services, touch on being billable, budgets, deadlines and customer satisfaction.

6. Think beyond your resume.

When you save your resume as a Word doc, don’t call it resume.doc. Use your name instead. If you insist on having a funky voice mail while you’re on the job market, stick to email for contact purposes. Then again, if you’re email is, think about that first impression. Your job search might be a good time to think about your image on LinkedIn too…make sure it’s consistent with your resume. And while you’re at it. If you ever posted a resume on a job site, go back and look it up. When you read it, make sure it doesn’t cause you any undue problems… like those pics on Facebook will!