10 Top Strategies for Building a Compelling Resume
Building a compelling resume to instantly attract employers’ attention is no easy task. What is even harder is knowing how to effectively articulate your strengths and experience while minimizing any weaknesses on your resume. The way in which you communicate your skills and experience and value proposition to employers will determine how successful you are at generating quality interviews and landing your next job.
Here are some of the strategies we use to build outstanding resumes for clients.
- Select the resume format that best showcases your skills, accomplishments and experience. Although most employers and recruiters prefer a reverse-chronological resume, it may not be the best format for you if you have considerable gaps in your career history or are changing career to a totally different field. Use a functional or an accomplishments-based format which will allow you to best leverage your experience, abilities and transferable skills.
- Link your experience, skills and abilities to the competency requirements of the job you are applying for using examples of past successes on the job; this will enable the recruiter or hiring manager to visualize you performing the same or a similar role successfully for their organization
- Since many employers use past performances to determine whether a candidate will be successful on the job or not; emphasize what you can offer potential employers (or bring to the table) drawing upon your collective experiences, skills, accomplishments, training/education and capabilities. Validate all relevant successes and contributions made to past employers using numbers, dollars or percentages wherever possible
- Alternatively, if you are not able to quantify your experience or contributions with (#, $ and %); then qualify it providing examples of difficulties or challenges you overcame to show how well you have done your job
- Align your professional values with that of your target employers. For example, if delivering great value to customers is a value statement of a particular employer, tie your experience to this value using compelling examples from your experience
- Develop a personal branding or value proposition statement and use it on your resume, cover letters, interviews, networking and all job related communications, including social networking activities
- Use customer testimonials, including the names of companies and strategic alliances/partners if large or well-known in your industry; this will give your resume instant creditability
- Tell what you know about the employer, its products and services, customers, industry and competition either on your resume or cover letters; this will show the hiring manager or recruiter that you are particularly interested in their job and have done your homework. This extra work on your part could create instant interview opportunities for you
- Establish connections with employees, customers and partners of companies you would like to work for and ask if you can use them as a referring source on your resume and letters. Many employers would grant job interviews to candidates if they are referred to them by valued employees, customers or business associates
- Include that you keep up to date (only if you do) with current trends and changes within the industry through specific readings and self-directed training; this shows initiative and a commitment towards your profession/career and further prepares you for career advancement within a company or sector