Curating a resume is essentially the same as writing a successful sales pitch. It must show proof of past success, it must capture the reader’s attention, and most importantly, it must convince the employer that you will be a return on investment. And like any product you hope to sell, the audience must be convinced that you will bring greater value into their lives.
Here are some ways to turn your resume into the perfect opportunity to market yourself:
Make It Future-Oriented: Although your resume is a list of jobs you have undertaken and accomplishments you have been awarded, it also provides a unique survey of what you can provide a future employer. Therefore, it is essential to highlight the skills that will be relevant for the next position you are applying for.
How do you do this?
First, look for keywords in the job description and ensure that they appear in your resume (if they are skills you have acquired or tasks you have undertaken in the past). Oftentimes, you have the necessary skills but are using a different language to describe them.
Second, only list past positions that are relevant to the job you are applying for. The key to a good resume is keeping it short, relevant, and on point. A hiring manager may not have time to read a resume that spans multiple pages, so ensure the resume you are submitting is concise and focused.
Like any good marketing brief, your resume has a target market–a specific, often stratified group of people that you are directly speaking to. For you, this may be a hiring manager or future employer. It is essential that you speak to this person by encompassing the job description itself, giving them the impression that you are the perfect fit.
Show Them You Will Be A “Return on Investment”: Every hire requires onboarding, training, and time spent to integrate into the company culture. There is an investment of time, and resources to create success for both the employee and the employer. Therefore it’s key that both of you can see a return on that investment. On a resume, you can showcase your previous ROI in several ways.
Most importantly, quantify your accomplishments. Numbers are not only easier to process, but they also help provide direct, digestible examples of how your work increased sales or generated greater web activity, for example.
An additional tip: Un-rounded numbers are more believable than rounded numbers. For example, write that your work increases sales by 49.7%, rather than by 50%.
Use Engaging Language: A boring advertisement does not warrant attention, so why should a boring resume? Use language that entices your reader, language that gets them interested and keeps them engaged. There is a reason catchy jingles get stuck in your head, they demand your attention! Think of your resume as your personal catchphrase. It communicates the necessary information while remaining concise and catchy at the same time.
How do you do this?
Use diverse language to communicate your skills and accomplishments. This will bring a dimension of interest and sophistication to your resume. Certain words, although synonyms carry greater weight to a reader. For example, “managed” carries greater weight than “supervised.”
Remember, you are selling your personal brand! So no matter how mundane resume writing may seem, your ability to generate interest with your resume will allow you to strategically and effectively market yourself.