Now that the New Year’s behind you, kids are knee deep in school work, and the Superbowl party is over, it’s time to get serious about your job search.
Whether you’re looking to switch industries, move laterally, make that vertical leap, or just get out of the dead end job you’ve been ready to tank for the last six months, here are 4 best practices you’ll want to apply in writing your resume:
- Define your value proposition: Beat your competition by showing the day-1 value you will bring to the company. Lean on your strengths and make a bold statement about the benefits of hiring you. It’s important to differentiate yourself from the masses right at the top of your resume. It sets the tone for the resume and lets your reader know that you are a distinct individual with a unique and valuable set of skills and experiences to bring to the team.
- Position your resume for the job you want, not the one you have: This is critical to your short- and long-term career growth. A client asked me just the other day if it’s okay to highlight the job you want at the top of your resume instead of highlighting the one you have. The simple answer: Yes! Focus on the role you want and present only the experience and achievements that align with that role. Recruiters are looking for individuals who are clearly aligned to the roles they are looking to fill. Show them you can deliver value in that role.
- Stick to your major talking points: A recruiter’s job is already tough; don’t make her work to figure out where you fit. Define your value proposition and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to throw in trivial information because it makes you more diverse (the “I want to be open to more opportunities” argument). That argument backfires all of the time because your reader doesn’t want to be led down side streets when making a hiring decision. Decide what your key strengths are and stick to them from beginning to end.
- A picture’s worth a 1000 words: Statements like “strong communicator,” “revenue driver,” and “change agent” sound great but don’t drive value. Showing how you positioned your company to capture 30% of a key emerging market does. “Sell, don’t tell” by giving your reader proof points like this, not just generic statements. It’ll make a world of difference in your job search.