It’s a competitive job market and crafting a resume that stands out is imperative to get in the door for an interview in order to share more about you and why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. So, what are the key things you should focus on when writing a resume? First and foremost a resume is a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications and previous experience. Please don’t write a novel, because I can guarantee you the hiring management team/ internal recruiters will not read all of it. Here are some key strategies to focus on to shine above the competition.
Chronological resume formats are best
Chronological resumes are always preferred over functional, meaning the standard format of employer name, dates of employment, job title(s) and responsibilities. You want to take this opportunity to showcase your career growth. Plus, this format also helps future employers better understand your most recent and relevant experience. Functional resumes always keep others guessing. Why are dates missing? What is he/she trying to hide? If your resume takes too long to understand then it may be put in the “C” pile that never gets an invite for an initial interview.
Take the time to tailor your resume to the job
Alicia and I always get the question, “Should I tailor my resume for multiple roles in Business Continuity, Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery or Risk Management?” Yes, absolutely you should tailor your resume. In fact, we tell many of our candidates to have 2 to 4 different resumes ready to go, especially since many of the professionals in our world equally cover multiple disciplines. Plus, the Business Continuity/ Resiliency profession is so convoluted with terminology so having multiple resumes favoring one discipline over another is important.
Include a Bullet List of Your Professional Qualifications at the Top of Your Resume
The resume objective was thrown out the door over a decade ago. You want to get their attention and get it quick. The best way to accomplish this is listing short, concise bullet points highlighting your key skills – ideally key words or action phrases a future employer will be seeking (ISO 22301 expertise, event program activation, executive engagement, crisis management, supply chain resiliency or vendor continuity assessments). And a bonus, this section can also easily be tailored depending on the job.
Keep it Simple, Concise & Easy to Read
This is easier said then done. It seems almost instinctive to include everything for fear of leaving an important detail out. I can guarantee you, though, a future employer will not need to know or care about what you did 20 years ago. I’m not saying remove everything. In many cases it’s nice to show your career growth, but the further you go back the less information you need to provide. In chronological resume terms – the employer name, dates of employment and your job title(s) is all that is necessary when going back 15+ years – leave out the job responsibilities from years ago. A concise, easy to read format it crucial too. After you get their attention with your bullet list of professional qualifications, you’d hate to lose them in your professional work history. Stick to brief sentences when highlighting your responsibilities under each position – no paragraphs. Keep the text size at 10 or 11 and don’t overcrowd things.
Sell Yourself – Why Should They Hire You?
Most professionals overlook this crucial point and (I can’t stress this enough) it’s also the hardest and most important to get you in the door for an interview. Under your last 2-3 positions include an accomplishment section and list out bullet points of your greatest accomplishments. Did you meet a challenging deadline? Did you revamp a program that exceeded the expectations of the executives? Did you save the company money? Did you mitigate a risk? Did you meet a challenging audit review? Here’s your opportunity to brag. Additionally, you can include at the bottom of your resume a section(s) for association/ industry involvement, certifications and other accolades. Have you presented at an industry conference? Have you published a white paper? Have you served on an industry board? What certifications and advanced degrees have you obtained? Companies are seeking leaders at all levels – not just senior. This is a chance to shine and focus on what separates you from everyone else.
Writing a resume can also be very personal so please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. We’re here to assist you in meeting your career aspirations in any way that we can. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at email@example.com.