Are you interested in knowing what potential employers are looking for in a resume? If you haven’t updated your resume over the last few years, you might be surprised to learn what companies (large and small) are requesting in today’s resumes.
In the past, resumes would begin with an Objective Statement, which showed the type of position you were seeking along with your career goals. Today’s “employer-driven” resumes are designed to grab the attention of hiring managers by highlighting “what you can do for the company.”
Below is a guideline for job seekers and usually results in a two-page resume depending on your experience level:
PROFILE SECTION – In order to grab the attention of the hiring manager, you need to summarize your experience at the beginning of the resume (right after contact information) and utilize appropriate positioning statements by concentrating on using powerful adjectives and action verbs.
KEYWORD SECTION – Keywords are “buzzwords” or terminology for your line of work, which can be easily translated by employers of all industries. This current trend in resume writing is here to stay and is crucial in our new “electronic age” in order for your resume to be scanned through the computer and then categorized according to your skill level and areas of expertise. Although keywords can be contained anywhere throughout the resume, the major benefit to having a keyword section is that pertinent information can be quickly and easily obtained on your background and experience.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS SECTION – Most people are familiar with the idea of listing your job duties in a resume (and job application). As you can imagine, this approach did not allow employers to get a feel for the “real person” behind the duties. Now the focus has moved to emphasizing the accomplishments and achievements in your positions. In order to successfully implement this technique in your resume, you must have some idea of what your contributions were/are to your employer and how it affects the bottom-line of the company through the use of facts, percentages, and statistics.
Lastly, resumes are designed to give an employer a brief overview of your background and should not give your entire employment history. You want to give the employer just enough information to say, “let’s bring this person in for an interview.” It is important to note that the most effective resumes (and consistently have the competitive advantage) are the ones that are customized to the type of career and position you are seeking. This may require researching organizations that you might be interested in working for (and even possibly obtaining informational interviews) before presenting the companies with your qualifications in your resume.