Author: Rachel Montanez Source: Forbes
A strategic, high-impact résumé can help you earn a pay increase, assist you with articulating your value and give you immeasurable confidence and joy that comes from seeing how you’ve built your career and made an impact. I’m not a fan of résumé writing without speaking to individuals or writing résumés as a “hi and bye” service. In my opinion, a résumé is a tool needed for one’s career journey, so it’s useful to have a conversation about where you want to go with your tool. Perhaps, you want to change careers, get promoted or start working at a new company. If your document is strategically written with your career goals in mind, it can help you achieve your goals quicker, and you want your résumé to produce a return on investment. While I don’t believe a résumé is all you need in your journey to greater career success, it is a piece of the puzzle that can help set the foundation for a career change or career raise. Here are some problems that maybe present in your résumé and the tactics you can use to stop getting overlooked.
The content needs to convey high-impact.
Numbers aren’t just needed in sales, director and executive résumés. By asking insightful questions, you can elicit a wealth of information to quantify your accomplishments. Your numbers quantify how and what and they are a crucial part of your bargaining power helping you negotiate a higher salary. To help you get a feel for your impact regarding the numbers, think about where things were before and where they are now. Percentage increases, awards, regional performance rankings, direct reports and client or customer caseloads are all useful things to mention that can be quantified with a number. Employers are accountable for justifying their hiring decisions with facts – it’s harder to argue with numbers. Show how you’ve increased profits, cut costs, improved how resources are used and saved time. Time is money, too.
Your words give off the wrong connotations.
I know we have the applicant tracking system which is important to consider when you’re writing your résumé because large companies use it, but eventually, your résumé will be seen by a human. Leave a positive, emotional impression and don’t use phrases that are not appropriate for your role like ‘dealt with customers’ if you work in a customer facing position or handled complaints or transactions. The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, published in 1989, contains full entries for 171,476 words. We’ve got a lot of words to choose from when writing. There are industry-specific words, words that are powerful conveyors of your leadership skills and words that are important to specific employers because they align with their corporate culture.
The content structure lacks proper thought.
You may have the two aspects above down pat, but how you present and structure information is just as important. One of the reasons I’m not a fan of résumé templates is because they dictate how you convey your story. In my opinion, a résumé is more appealing and more of a strategic career document if you put the purpose and your unique career history before the method of display. The top third of the first page of your résumé is crucial because first impressions count. Catch the reader’s eye by putting relevant content in the right place. You also want your sentences to be compelling and easy to read.