Tip 1 – Use Titles or Headings That Match The Jobs You Want
With employers receiving hundreds of resumes you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer’s attention within a 5-second glance. A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want.
Tip 2 – Use Design That Grabs Attention
Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills the likelihood is very high that they will make an immediate assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. Adding to this problem is the fact that employers don’t have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they need.
Tip 3 – Create Content That Sells
Resume design should get attention but it’s really the content of your resume, the descriptions you include of your skills and abilities, that determine how many interviews you generate–as well as the level of salary offers you receive.
Tip 4 – Quantify and Use Power Words
Another strategy that is extremely important in controlling the image that employers develop about you–is to use Power Words or verbs that match the level of position you want. For example, Roger wants to use the experience he’s gained to move into a management position. To strengthen his image he should use as many “management oriented” words as possible. Which example below do you think is the strongest?
Gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks.
Directed workflow, supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger, accounts receivable and payable accounts.
Tip 5 – Analyze Ads and Job Descriptions to Identify Key Words
Learning how to analyze the key words that employers provide in help wanted ads and job descriptions is a key element in creating powerful resumes. For example, read the ad Roger found for an Accounts Receivable Manager below and see how many key words, phrases, or skill descriptions that it includes.
Tip 6 – Identify and Solve Employer’s Hidden Needs
In addition to the skills or needs listed in the ad shown above, the employer will have many more needs that you should identify and address in his resume and cover letter. For example, this employer will need someone who can deal effectively with other departments, research accounting issues and records to solve problems. To beat today’s heavy competition for jobs, it’s important that you identify and anticipate the full range of needs each employer faces and show how you can solve those needs.
Tip 7 – Sell the Benefits of Your Skills
Most resumes provide a list of duties that each applicant has been responsible for–without explaining the benefit of those skills to employers. For example, a secretary’s resume might state she can type 80 wpm and is extremely accurate. This statement lacks an explanation of how her typing speed and accuracy benefit an employer’s bottom line. The real benefit is that the employee can produce more work and ultimately save the employer money. A better statement for this person’s resume would be:
Selling The Benefits of Skills
•Achieved top production volume by maintaining high degree of
accuracy with typing speed at 80 wpm.
•Cut labor expense over $6,000 annually by eliminating the
need for part-time wordprocessing staff.
Tip 8 – Create An Image That Matches The Salary You Want
As you write your resume, keep in mind the level of job and salary you want. Be sure to create an image that presents you at the appropriate level. For example, language used in a resume for an $8 an hour position is much different than the language used for a $16 an hour position.
Seeking an entry level position in the accounting field.
Have direct accounting experience
Seek an Accounting position utilizing my experience:
Managing a department and accounting for up to $250,000 in monthly claims.
Tip 9 – Prioritize the Content of Your Resume
Another big mistake that job seekers make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your resume, prioritize them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement which uses power words and quantifies will affect every statement under it. Read the two examples below. Which one has the most impact?
Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance.
Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales Representatives.
Managed front office functions to support the President, Vice President and staff of 20 Sales Representatives. Maintained records control, filing, office supply purchasing and equipment maintenance.
Tip 10 – Tweak and Target Your Resumes and Cover Letters
You will generate many more interviews by tweaking your resume and cover letter so that they address the specific skills each employer requests. For example, Sally originally wanted a customer service position, then found an ad for a Retail Management opening. How well qualified do the headings in the left hand column present her for the Retail Management position? Do you think the headings in the right hand column will generate more and better interviews for Retail Management positions?
Retail Management / Customer Service
Cash Accountability / Supervision of Retail Stations
Retail Accounting Applications
Sally’s actual title had been Lead Cashier, even though she managed her own retail cashiering station in addition to 6 other cashiers and stations. Once Sally had created her original resume, it only took about 5 minutes to tweak and relabel her skill descriptions to fit Retail Management positions. This “relabeling” is entirely truthful and is extremely important in landing more interviews because it allows job seekers to apply for, and look qualified for, a wider range of jobs.
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