Before sending out your resume to potential employers, you want to ensure that it is reflecting you in the most positive light and accurately conveying what you have to offer. If your resume doesn’t meet basic standards and make you an attractive candidate, you are missing out on valuable job opportunities. When evaluating your resume, here are four basic questions to ask yourself:
1. Does it send a clear message about your identity and experience?
Upon reading your resume, will employers know what type of professional you are and the job you are seeking? This is where a strong summary of qualifications and core competencies comes in. Although you may have held several different jobs throughout your career, this section gives employers a snapshot of who you are and what you can do. Clearly identify yourself in this section with a title such as “IT Director,” “Administrative Assistant,” “Senior-Level Sales Representative,” or “Human Resources Generalist.” Then outline your key strengths and abilities. This will help employers to better picture you in a specific role.
2. Does it highlight your strengths and provide supporting proof?
It’s not enough just to say you can do something – you should be able to back it up with proof as well. Incorporate metrics to show the impact you made on sales, revenue, productivity, cost efficiency, or other aspects of business. What was the value of the budget you managed or how many direct reports did you have? Consider which projects or accomplishments best highlight what you can do and align with what the employer is looking for. Use action- and results-oriented statements to demonstrate your capabilities.
3. Is it accurate?
This question is two-fold. First, you want to ensure that you are not lying on your resume. This can backfire and raise many red flags about your application and qualifications for the job. While you want to make your accomplishments stand out and show you are qualified, stick with the truth and avoid embellishing them to appear as though you did things that you did not.
The second aspect of this is making sure that your resume accurately reflects your level of experience and capabilities. Having a resume that is too simplistic and downplays your accomplishments can make you appear like an entry-level professional when really you are mid-level and have taken on more complex responsibilities. Make sure you are leaving the right impression about your level of skill, ability, and amount of experience.
4. Is it easily readable?
Formatting can make a big difference. You want a resume that employers can easily scan to find the information they are looking for. Use bold headings, horizontal lines, and bullet points to break up text and accentuate your accomplishments. This way employers are not wasting time trying to determine how you fit with what they are looking for and whether you have the qualifications necessary. Use a standard font, font size, and margins for a more professional-looking document that is easier to read.
If you can’t confidently answer yes to all four questions, it may be time to update your resume and give it fresh look and feel. Chic Resumes can help you create a stronger marketing message and professional image that supports your job search efforts. To get started revising your resume, contact Chic Resumes at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.