When a recruiter or hiring manager asks for your resume, do you panic?
Are you sure that everyone else knows exactly how to write the perfect resume, but yours is stuck in the era of MS-DOS or flip phones?
Does it include too little information, or maybe you don’t know how to pare your information down to a more acceptable length?
If so, we want to give you the tools necessary to write an effective, informative resume. We’ve summed it up into three basic tips.
1. KNOW YOUR VALUE
First, I want you to think about what VALUE you bring to a company or organization. This can be summed up in a couple of ways:
– How much revenue or savings can you bring to an organization, and
– What unique skills or gifts do you have to offer?
Most people, when they write a resume, make it very task-oriented. It communicates what they do on a day-to-day basis; however, generally speaking, hiring managers are not as concerned about what it is you do – they are concerned about what it is you do that has an impact. Areas of impact can include things like productivity, revenue, money saved, problems solved, culture creation, etc.
Give yourself some time to thoughtfully consider what unique value you have to offer an organization, and jot it down. If you need help understanding how to determine and quantify your (professional) value on a resume, check out our video ‘How to Define Your Value’ for some practical tips.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
What you want to try to do is build out a framework for your resume that most effectively communicates to a hiring manager everything you have to offer in an efficient way.
With that in mind, SIMPLICITY is absolutely critical. Think of Google or Apple – what is something these wildly successful companies have in common? Their products are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. This is what you want for your resume.
How do you make your resume simple, clean, and intuitive? With a user-friendly format. This is what I always recommend:
– WORK EXPERIENCE
– SKILLS (bulleted)
Everything a hiring manager needs to know can be placed neatly into one of these categories, so limit your information to these basic areas.
Another tip for keeping your resume simple is to avoid unnecessary graphics and non-traditional formatting. While there may be some creative fields in which this might be acceptable, generally speaking, a resume is not the time to flex your graphic designer muscles. These tactics typically just serve as a distraction, making it more difficult to quickly find and evaluate the information needed.
3. PROVIDE RELEVANT CONTENT
When your goal is a simple and clean resume, (relevant) CONTENT is king. The best way to build out relevant content in the often-abused work experience portion of your resume is by employing the SAR Method. This stands for Situation – Action – Result.
When you think back through your career up to this point, try to determine the most important and vital things you have done at each organization. For each one of these accomplishments, determine the Situation (or problem) you faced, the Action you took, and the Results that occurred because of your action (typically, results will be reflected in monetary gain, cost savings, impact to the company or culture, problems solved, etc). Then, write them out in bulleted format on your resume for each role held.
A hiring manager will ultimately be looking to see if you have the skills and abilities to do the job at hand in a quick fashion, and the best way to do that is to utilize the SAR Method to create a career ‘highlight reel’ of sorts to showcase your accomplishments. Like all highlight reels, only the most impactful, exciting content makes the cut – so, if it’s mundane and didn’t really have an impact, leave it off. Relegate those daily tasks performed to the ‘skills’ section when relevant.
In summary, these are the three basic tips to consider when writing a resume:
1) Know your Value,
2) Keep it Simple, and
3) Provide Relevant Content (SAR Method)
Want to learn more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to partner with you as you search for a career you love.