The biggest challenge in today’s tough job market is how to stand out from competition and put yourself in high demand with hiring managers. Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview. It can also position you as the TOP candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
So what does a great resume look like?
As a leading career coach, I help professionals and executives reinvent themselves and transition into a new career every day. Below are five (5) of my resume secrets to help you get you more career opportunities, more job interviews and even a higher salary!
- Feature the “right” key words.
Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings. Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description. Read every skill, qualification and requirement listed in the job posting. Those are the “key words” that you’ll want to showcase throughout your resume.
I always like to list key words using a bullet format in bold fonts towards the top of the resume. This way, the hiring manager will see your key strengths within seconds of picking up your resume.
**BONUS tip: Repeat key words throughout the “experience” section of your resume to show that you have a history, or pattern, of building those skills.
- Show results.
This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes. So many professionals make the mistake of focusing on responsibilities on their resume when they need to instead be focusing on RESULTS. In other words, how did you add value to your previous organizations?
Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers. For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month, and an average of $10,000 per client. That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients! So one of your career highlights should be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.
**BONUS tip: Quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.
- Highlight leadership and teamwork.
Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. Highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects, programs and teams that you’ve led.
If you’re light in leadership experience, then highlight any leadership responsibilities you may have had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church, or extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.
**BONUS tip: Use strong verbs such as: Initiated, orchestrated, implemented and led.
- Be specific and clear.
Don’t waste your resume space (or the hiring manager’s time) by using “filler” words or vague overarching comments like, “received awards for various contributions”, or “launched several products”. List the specific awards you received, or the names of the products you’ve launched. By doing so, you’ll be giving your resume substance and credibility.
Don’t worry if it’s a product nobody’s heard about or is difficult to explain on your resume. You want the hiring manager to be curious about you. That’s why they have interviews – so they can get more information about your qualifications.
**BONUS tip: Be brief. Be specific. Provide enough information that will leave hiring managers wanting more.
- Relevant, targeted and customized.
Employers don’t have time to read about every single skill and job that you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Are you qualified to do their job? Customize your resume to go for the job and company you want. A hiring manager will notice you so much more if your resume is specifically targeted to that position for which you are applying.
**BONUS tip: Only include those jobs, skills, and successes that will help you get your next job.
How confident are you that your resume is going to stand out from your competition?
Invest in having your resume professionally critiqued. Getting personalized recommendations from a resume expert could not only get you more high quality job interviews, but also more career opportunities and even a higher starting salary!
If you’d like me to create a fabulous, professional resume for you, check out my resume web page.
Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360′s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.
Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview. It can also help position you as the top candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
So how do you know if you’ve written your resume correctly so it gives you a leading edge over other job candidates? Below is a resume checklist with ten strategies to help you write your resume and put yourself in high demand in today’s job market.
- Feature key words. Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings. Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description. Then, showcase all of those requirements that you meet in a section called Key Strengths, right underneath the Objective section.
- Show results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes. I do this myself, and I know this is why I get the interviews. Underneath your Key Strengths section, I list 4-5 career highlights that are results focused. Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers. For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month. That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients! So one of your career highlights could be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.Also, try to quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.
- Highlight leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. So highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects and teams that you’ve led. If you’re just started out in your career and haven’t led any projects or teams, then highlight any leadership experience you may have had in professional organizations, a sports league, in church, or any other extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.
Craving a new career? Tired of being under-valued, under-appreciated and unmotivated? If so, then maybe you need to take a new direction and reinvent your career.
Reinventing your career successfully simply means repackaging your skills, qualifications and accomplishments so that you can transition into a new job role, company, or industry. Below is my personal career coaching 5-step blueprint for reinventing your career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!
In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work.
- Define your passion - If you’re not sure where you want to go then read trade magazines, industry publications and on-line job postings. Visit a bookstore and browse through books and magazines to see what grabs your attention. Allow yourself time to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you!
2. Identify your transferable skills - These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.
Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are ALL great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.
3. Match your transferable skills to job roles - Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.
Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the job requirements and the skills you have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even volunteering.
Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.
4. Blow up your resume. The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.
Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that are relevant to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Can you do their job? Get resume help now.
5. Attitude is king! Remember, great jobs don’t just land in your lap. You have to know what you want – take action – and go after it! Your job is out there. You just need to go get it!
When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!
And finally…If you’re ready to make a career change, get some professional help. You’ll have an easier, quicker, less stressful journey ahead of you when you have a partner who can give you the roadmap on how to reach your goal.
Here’s to your success!
Do you dream of doing something different in your career? Something energizing, fun and creative that actually fills you with energy and passion?
I fully believe that life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you feel unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued. I’ve had a few of those jobs and I remember waking up every single morning and dreading going into work. The highlight of my day was stopping at Starbucks every morning to get my daily dose of lattes.
If you’re in that same position and now you’re ready to reinvent your career, then I’m here to help you! First, I’m going to tell you why it’s hard to do. I know that’s probably not what you expected me to say (or want to hear), but I’m going to tell you why it’s difficult to reinvent your career, and then I’m going to help you overcome those challenges so that you can get into your new career and get on with loving your life!
The reason that most people stay in an unmotivating and unfulfilling job is because it’s easy to do. It’s familiar, it takes minimal effort, it’s easy to blank out and be a zombie for 8 hours a day, and there’s comfort in knowing you’re getting the bills paid.
It’s easy because there’s minimal risk and minimal effort. But there’s also minimal reward. I recently attended a leadership training in Oregon and the instructor said, “Those who take on more risk, get more opportunities.”
Do you think that’s true? Do you think that when you step into a new organization that allows you to stretch and grow, that you might actually be inspired to go into work every day? Do you think that if you’re energized about doing work that excites you, that you’ll be making more significant contributions, and therefore, have more opportunities for promotions and career advancement?
Stepping onto a new career path is not easy, but it can absolutely be done! I’ve jumped onto a new career path four times, and it was well worth the risk! So, how can YOU make a successful career change?
1. Define your passion. In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? In which job role would you like to work? Software Engineer? Financial Analyst? Management?
If you’re not sure, then read trade magazines, business publications, and talk to your friends, neighbors and colleagues about their job. The key to being in a career that excites and inspires you is to find out where your passion is.
2. Lead with your transferable skills. Once you’ve determined where you want to go in your career, lead with your transferable skills. Those are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing people, managing projects, managing budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, and proposing new ideas that helped an organization generate revenue, save costs or increase market share.
These are excellent skills that can help you get your foot in the door at a new company. You’ll want to highlight these on your resume, and talk about them in your interviews and networking opportunities.
3. Attitude is king. I’ve found that reinventing your career mostly depends on two things: passion and confidence. Don’t worry if you don’t match all the job requirements. I got my TV gig even though I missed the two (2) biggest requirements – I didn’t have at least 2 years of TV experience and I didn’t have an audition tape.
To compensate, I focused my resume on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter. Then, in the interview, the hiring manager told me I got the job because I was passionate about the company and the job!
Reinventing your career takes some perseverance, determination and a bit of risk taking. But the rewards are HUGE! Your next career is out there waiting for you – you just need to go out there and get it!
If you’re stuck in your career – get professional help! Career Coaching 360 helps professionals and executives change into a more meaningful and inspiring career, and we can help you, too! Check out our career coaching packages created to fit any budget at: http://www.careercoaching360.com/careercoaching/ Also, check out our resume and interviewing services.
PARADE Update: Creating a Rock Star Resume
Meghan found a terrific job opening at a socially conscience company where she can leverage her marketing expertise and culinary background.
As I talked about in my book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand,” this is what I know for sure: When you are able to articulate the kinds of responsibilities, the management style and company culture where you want to work in your next career – the universe has a way of sending you those opportunities.
And now the universe is churning out opportunities for Meghan! The next step is for us to create a rock star resume.
Here are my top three tips for creating a resume to help you get noticed, get hired and even get a higher salary!
Showcase key words. Key words are those skills in the job postings that are listed as the “job requirements.” Look closely at the job description and use a highlighter to mark all of the requirements listed. Then, take all of those requirements that you meet and showcase those “key words” towards the top of your resume underneath the “Objective” section. Label this section “Key Strengths” and list those requirements that you meet in bullet format.
Emphasize results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from your competition. Don’t talk about responsibilities. That’s boring. Instead, talk about what you have achieved for an organization, or what you’ve helped the organization achieve. For example, don’t just say that you managed a team of 9 people in the sales department. Instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past three years. Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, numbers or percentages.
Show leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong contributors and strong leaders (or at least demonstrate leadership potential.) Talk about projects or teams that you’ve led – and what the results were. If you haven’t led any projects or teams in your professional life, then highlight any leadership experience you’ve had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church activities or community events.
Meghan’s Assignment this Week:
I gave Meghan one of my exclusive resume templates to showcase her marketing and events-management skills. She will be busy this week converting her resume from being “responsibilities” to “results” focused. That means she’ll be meeting with past managers and business associates to learn the real results of her previous marketing campaigns and big projects. Ideally, she’ll want her resume to state that her marketing campaigns helped gain a certain number of new customers, or that the projects she worked on helped generate new revenue, saved the company money, or created more market share for the organization.
Her homework assignment is not easy, but it will be the icing on the cake to help Meghan’s resume stand out from her competition and land that fabulous job.