Some people think that resumes are nothing more than a list of your accomplishments, the jobs you’ve had, and the number of places you’ve worked. But, it’s not that easy to construct a resume that markets you to your prospective employer. A resume should be designed to sell you and your potential to an employer. That means that you have to make decisions about how to present your traits.
A resume has to be like an advertisement, it needs to catch the reader’s eye and meet their particular needs. If you’re applying for an accounting job, then you wouldn’t need to showcase your creative writing talents on your resume. You would need to show that you have the skills required to perform the duties of the position at a high level. That doesn’t mean putting everything you’ve ever done on your resume, it just means you have to understand your market and how to reach them. Make sure you put your best foot forward.
Look over your work history and pick the selling points that best highlight your value. Depending on the position, you should highlight specific skills that you have. Deciding what makes the most unique selling points can be the hardest part of writing a resume. Here are five basic steps to help design a resume that markets your skills to employers:
1. Choose the most relevant information first. Focus on the skills and experience that are most important to the job you’re applying for. You may have a whole range of skills, but focus on the ones that are most important for your particular employer. Even if you’re qualified based on past experience, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Instead, make sure that you focus on the skills that are going to set you apart from other potential employees.
2. Showcase the cutting edge, without too much emphasis on the outdated. More experienced workers should focus heavily on this. Any professional should continue to update their resume with new talents and show that they can adapt to new challenges. You may know the beginnings of C+ language, but it will help if you know Flash or Linux.
3. Tangible examples are best. Be specific as possible and use tangible evidence of improvements if you can. Just saying that you have an excellent track record of improving sales doesn’t show much, you need to show actual figures.
4. Use multiple resumes to market yourself in a different manner. If you’re applying for several different types of positions or in different industries, you need to have a resume suited to that profession. So create several different resumes that highlight your skills for that particular position.
5. Get a second opinion. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. It can be hard to be objective about your career. Give your resume to a friend or a family member, or if you have someone in your industry – even better.