Creating a good resume

Posted on March 5, 2010

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When starting out on your search for a job, your first step should be creating a stellar resume, or what is sometimes called a CV, curriculum vitae. A well-crafted CV/resume displays an overview of a candidate’s work history, competencies, and abilities, with the core objective to help applicants obtain job interviews.

Many job-seekers don’t realize a poorly executed resume can do more harm than good. Including details on tasks performed, levels of responsibilities, and non-quantifiable results can put an applicant in the “Do Not Hire” pile. To thrive in today’s job environment, job hunters need to tailor their resumes by including quantifiable achievements and results.

The next step is to be sure your resume has been tailor made for the job you are interested in. Listing skills relevant to the decision maker is one modification you can make to your advantage.

One way to distinguish yourself from the competition might be to identify the issues that keep the decision maker up at night. This could be accomplished by doing research on the company and job you are interested in applying for, or going one step further, by interviewing previous and current employees. This kind of inside information can be used to highlight your specific skills in resolving similar issues the employer might be facing.

Pay special attention to your summary – this should not be a basic overview of your career. To differentiate yourself, you should use this section to display your achievements that are desirable to the potential employer. It’s also a good idea to write a header which includes the name of the position you are applying for. These subtle points might be the deciding factor to the person reviewing candidates and hopefully you will seem like an ideal candidate for the company and job posting.

A tough economy makes this job market extremely challenging. To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to show how your skills and accomplishments resulted in revenue and profit growth, or a rise in productivity or efficiency. Hiring managers aren’t looking to hire potential employees who just meet the bare minimum. They are looking for applicants who can meet or exceed their expectations. Don’t be modest: detail any significant issues you helped resolve for your previous organizations and mention them in your CV/resume.

Finally, you should measure the results of your accomplishments. This exercise will demonstrate the impact of your ability to produce value and a decent ROI (based on your pay plus benefits) for potential employers. Be sure to determine the top- and bottom line, or any other metrics used to assess your performance. Customer complaints, gross margin, employee turnover, collection costs, and average time on site are illustrations of performance measures. Next, determine the amount or percentages for the results produced from your achievements and combine them. For example: “Incorporated new procedure that resulted in $221M additional profit or a 98% increase in net income.”

A dynamic resume can help you land an interview in a crowded job market. Customization, accomplishments, and quantifiable results are what distinguish compelling resumes from mediocre ones.

Author: Kenrick Chatman

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Posted in: Education