Whether you are writing a book, article, thesis, letter, or a resume, the same basic rule applies: Write for your audience (in this case, recruiters, hiring managers and your future boss). In the world of resume writing, that translates to two things.
First, make your resume easy to read. If it is sloppy, crowded, bare or confusing, you need to take a step back and think about what your perfect employee’s resume would look like. Maybe your resume should look more like that. Second, make your resume a perfect representation of your skills and talents while minimizing your downfalls. There's not a hiring manager out there that wants to read a phony, pumped-up resume (or a weak, sparse resume for that matter). Be confident and honest in what you have to offer! So, what can you do to make it more audience-focused? In addition to having friends proofread your resume, the best and easiest way to approach it from a reader’s point of view is to ask yourself some questions that recruiters and hiring managers would ask. Namely: 1. What job are you applying for? Is it easy to tell by glancing at your resume (and reading your cover letter)? 2. Do you match the skill sets we are looking for? It is easy to find that information (e.g. in a keyword list or bulleted checklist)? 3. What have you done at your previous jobs that makes you stand out among the other 50 resumes I will look at today? 4. Does certain information stand out that makes me want to throw your resume away (e.g. job gaps, incomplete dates, questionable experience, even confusing formatting)? 5. Is it easy to contact you? Writing your resume to your audience means making it easy to read and a clear representation of your skills. This is easier said than done for many people, which is why a professional resume writer is a great way to go. They know what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for and they know how to utilize space to create a personalized document that makes you shine. Hiring a professional is not always an option, but following the most basic resume writing rule is a great start!
Cathy Eng is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), author, and
owner of Resume Rocketeer, Inc. With corporate expertise spanning marketing,
communications, operations, and human resources, Cathy boasts a distinctive talent
for maximizing client experiences to create compelling and effective resumes
and cover letters that consistently win interviews. An accomplished author,
Cathy also holds a B.S. in Journalism. For a free resume analysis, visit www.resumerocketeer.com.