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Hiring a professional resume writer can be the single-most best investment you can make as part of a successful job search.
Along with experience in human resources, job search, or recruitment, a certified resume writer is a professional who has undergone extensive training and passed the strictest of tests to offer this service.
Think of it as someone who has the ability to create a blueprint for the foundation of your career success.
There may be a time, however, when you need to produce one of your best resumes that generate top results, yet have no time to seek out the support of a qualified resume writer.
This can be a time when you can turn to some fast do-it-yourself (DIY) tactics to prepare a resume.
Need some DIY resume tips?
Use the next set of tips for crafting a basic resume in a hurry, then contact a qualified resume writer when you are ready to get more serious about your executive career.
#1 – Get rid of the resume objective.
This is not your Mom’s resume. Objective statements have been out of style and obsolete since the 1990s. In today’s world, recruiters want to see what value you bring to the table. They are not there to roll out the red carpet and give you the job experience of your dreams. Your objective is just that, yours.
In fact, most hiring managers will skip reading an objective entirely when reviewing resumes, because they already know what your objectives are.
Why wouldn’t they?
The hiring manager knows you are interested in the job and the company. Focus on what the hiring manager really cares about. They want to know if you are the right candidate. This is their primary objective and you need to focus on this to get your foot in the door.
Instead of an objective, what should the top of your resume content include?
The very first thing that a hiring manager needs to see on your resume is a clear and concisely written summary of your skills and abilities. This should explain why you are a good fit for the job. Some call this a professional profile, professional summary, or a summary of skills, but it all means the same thing.
Create at least 4-5 bullet points with keywords that describe your skills, experience, talent, and accomplishments that are relevant to the job. Hint: Read the job advertisement and the corporate website for ideas of the keywords you should use in this section.
#2 – Say to yourself, “So What?” as you read your achievements.
Your resume may be full of achievements in each job experience, that is IF you have taken the time to add them. Read through each of these statements and say something to the effect of “Big deal.” Or “So, what?”
Why would you do this?
It makes you focus on how important your achievements really are (or aren’t) and you can spot areas where you need to improve things on your resume.
Remember, you don’t want a resume that reads like a directory of job descriptions or the tasks you performed. Take the time to consider each achievement from the perspective of an employer. The employer will be asking how this benefits the company.
Essentially, you want to make it easy for employers to quickly see in your resume that you bring something valuable to the table. You will want to show the challenges you faced, how you solved problems, overcame obstacles, and how the company won in the end.
The resume is not about you, it’s about them.
Before & After Resume Content Example
TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, THIS BULLETED STATEMENT FOR A BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL:
Increased sales and marketing efforts in new markets.
This is a fairly bland bullet point. It would seem the baseline for a business development professional to make an effort, right? In other words, “So what?” What is the most important (and missing) information here – what happened?
Grew client base by 60 percent and achieved maximum distribution by expanding markets served.
Now that’s more like it!
This statement expresses the result (an impressive one at that) at the beginning, capturing the attention of the reader.
Do this one thing right and the employer will be asking you to come in for an interview sooner.
#3 – Maximize resume reading “hot spots”.
Recruiters spend less than 6 seconds reading through each resume, sometimes less. Therefore, less is more when it comes to writing a resume.
Eye scanning software has been used to determine how and where recruiters spend the most time reading a resume – hot spots as they are called. They are likely to focus on the top half section of the document, then scan down through well-designed sections and bulleted lists.
When you are in a huge hurry to improve your resume, limit your edits to this hot spot zone. You can improve your resume format so that it makes the most of this valuable real estate.
Choose a template with a smaller top margin, for example.
Make sure your contact information doesn’t take up too much room in the top few lines of text but is complete. Add your skills and highlight your achievements in this section too. Consider whether you want to go with a career summary or a full-on career history that lists all the details. If you are a new college grad you may want to add this near the top somewhere too.
When it comes to the way that recruiters read resumes, they don’t spend a great deal of time reading large blocks of text. They tend to read smaller chunks of information and appreciate white space to break things up. Leave out long sentences and instead use quick phrases and keywords. Focus on numbers and percentages wherever you can.
Now that you have made these fast edits and want to send your resume over to a prospective employer, do one last thing. Proof-read the entire document, or better yet, send your resume to a qualified executive resume writer for feedback. Don’t leave this important career document to chance.