How do I Build a Strong Resume?
This question originally appeared on Quora: How do I build a Strong Resume? Answer by Ron-Williams
Lead with your strengths. For instance, if your education is what is most important to the position, that should be near the top of your resume. If experience is your strong suite, then lead with that.
Summary section. Instead of listing a the traditional “Career Objective” section, try using a summary section, (which includes your objective).
This will allow you to speak in first person, (which helps the resume to be less dry/ more interesting).
Be brief here. Like any good story, the summary near the top of the res should draw the reader’s interest enough to want to get down into the details.
Brevity: The average hiring authority will spend 7 SECONDS, reading a resume. This is not a lot of time to get their attention & convince them that you are a person worth talking to, investing time in, and bringing into their team. SO, you need to be brief, and concise in your language. Yet at the same time, create energy and excitement.
Personality. Create some energy in your resume by using a few adjectives. This can be a difficult one, but remember that resumes for the most part are boring. Unless you are a crocodile hunter, rock star, or Indian Jones…they just are.
Accomplishments: Don’t just list where you worked, but focus on key accomplishments within the various roles you have had. Where possible provide data points, that demonstrate the size/ scope of your accomplishments on behalf of the companies you’ve worked for (ie: size/ dollar value of project you worked on or managed; how many clients did you land; amount of business you brought in in dollars or %, etc). Remember that employers are looking at your past performance as indication of what you might be able to accomplish on their behalf as well.
Peter Drucker once said, that the average employee is worth a minimum of 5X their salary, to their employer. Therefore, demonstrate in your job search process how you brought specific value to your employers, AND focus in on the accomplishments that are going to be of greatest interest to the company you are now interviewing with.
FAB sheet preparation: In my opinion, creating a FAB sheet on yourself is far more important, and should precede the creation of the resume or cover letter itself. Once you have completed the FAB, your resumes and cover letters, and the job search itself will come much more naturally, be more targeted, and with a far higher degree of success. (I think I have written a description on how to create a FAB sheet in an earlier Quora answer).
Don’t be flashy: Unless you are interviewing for a graphic design type or extremely artistic type of position, its best to go with white paper, and don’t get overly creative on fonts, etc. Just stick to the basic facts, and hiring authorities will appreciate you for it.
1-2 Percent: Keep in mind that your resume, is AT BEST, 1-2% of your job search process. It’s not the most important piece of the process by a long-shot. Its just the default tool that everyone turns to, thinking it will land them their next position. In truth, it generally won’t. It is important & critical to have, but overall, the resume a dinosaur technology for job search, and should be kept in perspective of the larger process.
More to be said on this topic, but hopefully this will help. Feel free to email for clarification.