Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Resume Quick Tips: What to Do if You Want That Interview

You’ve probably heard it before, and it’s true. Having a stellar resume is one of the keys to landing that interview. Think of your resume as a script for your career elevator speech. If you only had 30 seconds to sell yourself to a hiring manager, what would you say? How would you say it? Here are a few quick tips to consider as you begin to create your resume masterpiece:

Stay on target: This is often the most critical task in crafting a resume that will get you through the door. Generic resumes just don’t cut it in today’s highly competitive and specialized job market. Hiring managers want to know why you’re right for the job you’re applying to, and they want to see how well you communicate that message.
It’s not about you:  In today’s competitive job market, employers want to know how you can help them improve their bottom lines and bring value to their organizations. Describe your achievements in terms of quantifiable outcomes. Make this your mantra: it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for the employer.

Avoid industry-speak: Keep military-speak and field-specific terms and acronyms to a minimum.  Your resume should communicate the parallels from your previous career to the job to which you are applying in terms of skill sets, leadership and management experience in language that is intelligent, as well as universal.

Don’t trust spellcheck: In our technology dependent world, we’ve become slaves to editing features like spell check.  While spell check can be a useful tool, it does not always pick up the differences between words like “its” and “it’s”, “your” and “you’re” and “whose” or “who’s”.   Editor’s tip: always print out your resume on paper and get at least one more set of human eyes to proofread your resume before you send it to an employer.

Quality over quantity: Even if you’ve got 25 years of work experience, hiring managers are most interested in candidates with experience that is current and relevant.  Instead of your years of experience, keep your resume focused on what experience in your background is relevant to the job to which you are applying. Limit your resume to one page, two pages maximum.
Mind the gaps: Employment gaps are sometimes red flags for hiring managers, but they don’t have to be fatal flaws for job seekers. Be honest. Account for your time out of the workforce honestly and effectively. Volunteer work, continuing education, travel, caregiving and raising a family are all examples of life experiences that can enhance personal and professional development, adding value to what you have to bring to your new job.

Keep it simple: When it comes to creating a resume that will land you an interview, avoid fancy fonts and formatting. Use a standard MS Word format, with a font size and style that is easy to read such as 12 point Times New Roman or Ariel. Font color should always be black, and always print your resume on white or off-white paper, not craft or specialty paper.  
While writing a resume can seem overwhelming in the beginning, keeping these tips in mind can help you stay on target. Orion International’s knowledgeable team offers many ways to assist you as you embark on your career search. As a first step, register on our website and browse our TransitionCorner for helpful job seeking tips, tools, and resources.


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