As you sit idly by the computer screen, waiting for just one response to your resume, time keeps ticking by. It’s been weeks into your job search and still nothing. Not one single phone call, email, nothing. You begin to worry and think to yourself, “Am I not qualified…is my email address not working…is it my resume?” Ding, ding, ding! You probably just hit the nail on the head with that last thought.
Your resume is your first impression, and in today’s ultra-competitive job market, there is absolutely no room for error on this document. Often times job seekers like yourself tend to believe their resumes are in great shape. Because they have an opening objective statement expressing what they want to do, a chronological list of work experience, and some skills in the footer coupled with education, they think they are good to go.
Below I will explain why these typical approaches do not work:
- Employers are more interested in what they need from a candidate rather than what you want to do.
- Hiring managers are pressed for time and do not want to read through a laundry list of boring job tasks.
- Skills such as problem solving, verbal communication, relationship building, and attention-to-detail are generally not very impressive terms.
Instead, try the following:
- Create an opening statement that conveys what you can contribution to an employer vs. what you personally would like to gain for yourself by working for the company. Demonstrate how you are eager to take on new challenges and learn new things so you may become a valuable asset to the organization. There are many ways to do this, and if you are not sure, seek the help of a professional resume service.
- Don’t include all of your boring job descriptions. In most cases, unless you are transitioning into a completely different field, employers already know what your day-to-day roles were as a Sales Rep, Administrative Assistant, or Nurse. Try including some positive results that were gained as a consequence of your actions such as “slashed costs by 30%” or “significantly increased sales by building key relationships with partners.” These are things employers like to see, how you have contributed to past companies which will demonstrate your ability to produce for them as well.
- Highlight certain key strengths that are relevant to your targeted job title or industry instead of focusing on generic, over-used terms like “experienced working in a fast-paced environment” or “ambitious and flexible team player” and so on. Terms such as these are empty and have no meaning behind them. Basically, you need to be more unique and impressive. Different stands out more, so try honing in on stronger terms that actually mean something to the reader – not qualities that even a high school student possesses.
Overall, your resume needs to be a hard-hitting document that not only shows you have what it takes to produce results, but gives the reader an idea of your past contributions and strengths which have allowed you to excel to this level of your career. As a mid-career professional, it is extremely important that your resume sets you apart from the rest and provides a verifiable record of achievement that is unparalleled to anyone else.