September 12th, 2013
Get in the Game: Resume Ramp Up
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In the first quarter of any football game your greatest hope is to come out on top thereby setting the tone for the rest of the game. And while winning the quarter doesn’t guarantee you win the game, it can certainly give you the confidence and momentum to continue performing well.
In the first post in this series we talked about preparing yourself to get in the game. When you’re ready to start your job search, putting your best foot forward starts with a stand-out resume. We’ve mapped out a few key strategies to set your play in motion.
Supercharge Your Accomplishments
In a competitive job market, results are top of mind for employers. When describing your employment experiences, highlight how you solved problems and brought value to the company. Use keywords like “improved,” “initiated,” and “resolved.” These words conjure an image of action and results.
Stats Make Headlines
Numbers jump off the page. Whether it’s profit margin, sales volume, savings or growth percentages, find the areas of your experience that can be illustrated with numbers. Don’t stop with results. Use numbers to show how many customers you were responsible for, the number of calls you fielded in a day, or the scope of the budget you worked within. These numbers help to illustrate the weight and depth of your responsibilities.
Leadership and Teamwork
Leadership and teamwork can make or break a team’s performance on the field, and so it goes in business. Include examples of how you demonstrated these qualities in each job on your resume. Include keywords like “led,” “collaborated,” or “encouraged input.” Not every position is required to be the quarterback, but most employers want to know that you can play well with others and support the team as a whole.
Flaunt the Ring
The Super Bowl, ring isn’t just about the bling, it represents the hours of hard work it took to earn the right to wear it. If you earned formal awards or recognition in past jobs, include a separate category heading in your resume to highlight these emblems of excellence. Similarly, be sure you have recommendations on LinkedIn and include the link to your profile.
Train to Stay in the Game
Performance on the field is backed up by training in the off-season. Highlight your willingness to upgrade your knowledge and skills. List training, certifications, publications and examples of professional development. This extra level of commitment to your own growth and expertise can push to the top of the shortlist.
Get to the Point
Finally, be clear and concise in communicating your experience. Employers aren’t looking for flash or sizzle. With dozens, if not hundreds, of resume submissions to review they want to be able to scan and digest your material quickly. Incorporating the tips above, present your information in a simple, clean and organized fashion and set yourself up for a successful first quarter.