Updated: Sep 14, 2020
1. Does your resume read like a job description?
One of the most common mistakes we see in resumes is that the entire document reads like a job description of all your previous jobs. Sure it is important to talk about how many people you manage, the size of the budget you oversaw, the projects you led. But what is more important than what you do and what you did, is how WELL you did it! Just imagine there was someone else in the same role, same company, had the same title as you. You two worked side by side. Let's just say that person did a bad job. Mediocre at best. Could they still write on their resume exactly the same things you have on yours? If so, how are you going to stand out? You need to talk about how well you did your job, not just that you held a title and certain responsibilities. Metrics are great (raised revenue, avoided costs, etc...) but sometimes it could simply be an award that you won, the recognition that you have received, the great results on your annual performance review, or maybe because you were so good at what you did, you were selected to work on a special project. Bottom line: You don't want to show that you were a project manager. You want to show that you were a DAMN GOOD project manager. 2. Does your resume quickly communicate what you're trying to do and what you bring to the table as it pertains to the position you are targeting?
Employers want to know what you are bringing to the table QUICKLY and EASILY. So take out the objective statement and use a big, bold, title at the top of your resume instead. And as long as you have those skills, you should adjust this title to match what the job posting is emphasizing. Objective statements focus on what YOU want, instead of what the EMPLOYER wants. No employer cares that you are "seeking an opportunity to utilize your background in IT project management". Instead, for that IT project manager position, try something like this: EXPERIENCED PROJECT MANAGER - IT IMPLEMENTATION & SERVICES EXPERTISE Next, make sure you have a CORE COMPETENCIES section. HR folks spend an average 8 seconds looking at your resume. They might not always have your technical background or subject matter expertise. They have a job posting and are filtering through a stack of 100 resumes trying to pick out three that they want to pass along to the hiring manager. If they have to spend time digging through your resume looking for those skills listed in the job posting, they're surely going to move on to the next candidate. Look carefully at the job posting and see what skills they are asking for. If you have them, list them directly, maybe even in the same order that the job posting has them right in the CORE COMPETENCIES section of your resume. In that first round, you want to spoon-feed the reader exactly what they're looking for. If you do this, you'll find yourself moving along to the next round. And now instead of competing against 100 other resumes, you're competing against 3. You've just increased your chances of getting that job from 1% to 33%.
One or two page resume?
More important than one or two pages, blue or black font, Times New Romans or Calibri, is your content. Every designer is taught the famous phrase "Function drives form". A resume should NOT be a historical document of everything you have ever done, nor is it just merely an archive of your work history. A resume IS a marketing document. Just like that TV commercial where you have 30 seconds to sell that bottle of Coca Cola, you have 30 seconds on your resume to sell why you are the right person for the job. Your resume should not be about what YOU WANT to communicate, it should be all about WHAT THE EMPLOYER wants to hear. If it takes more than one page then so be it. (Just don't go over two unless you're in academia and have tons of relevant publications).
Want help writing a beautiful and effective resume that hits these two goals? Schedule a call with Your Next Jump.