Go online for resume advice and you’ll be quickly overwhelmed. To help you qualify advice and strengthen your resume strategy here are insights from some of Canada’s award-winning career experts on what every resume needs to succeed. Here’s what they had to say:
- Proof (Maureen McCann of Promotion Career Solutions)
For a resume to succeed it needs to prove its claims. Use quantifiable evidence that demonstrates why you’re the best candidate for the job.
For example: If you are a senior sales executive, instead of saying that you:
- Led a team of sales professionals
Take it one step further and prove what you did using numbers as evidence
- Mentored 8 regional sales managers and 124 sales representatives to deliver over $500 million in annual revenue.
Research the job poster. Read it two or three times to uncover and understand what the employer seeks in a candidate. Match what you’ve learned to what you have to offer and then prove it!
Get more details on providing resume proof, along with other critical resume writing strategies, in Maureen’s post: 4 Simple Resume Writing Tips
- Brand Strategy Coupled With Active Networking (Lori Jasvac of Creative Horizons Communications and Resumes)
A powerful resume captures the candidate’s unique value proposition in a few seconds. Apply a results-driven strategy aligned with the needs and buying motivators of the target audience.
Following best resume practices will produce a stand-out brand document. An effective resume is succinct, results-focused, ATS-friendly, and features measurable achievements.
Incorporate relevant key words and high-impact statements along with an inspiring professional design to draw the employer’s attention.
Every resume has the opportunity to maximize success with a clear writing strategy supported by a persistent job seeker who employs active networking to build influential connections.
Learn more about brand strategy in Lori’s post: Reinvest in Yourself: Manage Your Personal Brand
- Content Customization (Brent Warman of Resumes and Career Services)
Every resume needs to be customized for the targeted position. There is no such thing as a general resume to cover every possible position requirement.
For a resume to relate to the hiring manager’s needs – where he/she can clearly see how the applicant’s skill sets and experiences meet the needs of the position and the organization – they need to be able to understand job seeker’s accomplishments and contributions.
Demonstrate how you solved problems, increase revenues or production, saved money, or save time by providing specific examples of achievements from current and previous roles.
Find out how career professionals (and job seekers) can flesh out resume results in Brent’s post: Resume Writing: The Strategy of You.
- Polished Presentation (Adrienne Tom of Career Impressions)
Carrying forward what Lori referenced above about ‘inspiring professional design’, job seekers should take time to develop both stellar content and a polished presentation.
Although the content of a resume is what will ultimately win the interview, a format with a bit of flair may be required to help get your file noticed and keep the reader engaged longer.
Employ design trends to help guide the reader’s eye through the file, strategically highlighting and positioning top content to ensure major points don’t get overlooked.
Of course not all design components are ATS-friendly, so a caution to use your ‘pretty’ resume for networking purposes and direct applications only. Generate a simplified, stripped-down Word file for online submissions.
Read more about pairing strong content with effective presentation in my recent post: Executive Resumes: Content is King but Presentation Matters Too