When job seeking, your resume is the document that gets you through the door and in front of the hiring agent. But what goes into developing the perfect resume and what is it that makes you really stand out from the crowd in an oversaturated job market?
On today’s show, we are joined by Kris McGuigan, a top resume writer and careers advisor who is one of only 120 people worldwide to achieve the prestigious Academy of Certified Resume Writers Designation.
Kris’s passion is helping others to identify and unleash their potential. Figuring out the best way to market themselves and representing all of the value that individuals can bring to the marketplace.
Today she’ll be walking you through the steps of how you can ensure you have the best resume possible as you embark on your search for a new career.
On today’s podcast:
- What needs to be on your resume?
- Should you enlist the help of a professional resume writer?
- How regularly should you update your resume?
- Should you tailor your resume to specific job roles?
- Three things the modern resume should have
Should you enlist the help of a professional resume writer?
These days our resumes are so much more than a chronological listing of the jobs we have done. The modern resume is a marketing document that needs to sell you, the job seeker and make you stand out from the crowd.
Research shows that working with a professional writer can make you 40% more likely to get noticed by either a recruiter or hiring agent. Kris believes that a professional writer can help you to ensure that you not only have the most updated and relevant information on your resume but will guarantee that it meets with modern practices.
It will ultimately give you the best opportunity of getting past the gatekeeper and in front of your prospective employer.
How regularly should you update your resume?
“Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” is the mantra Kris adopts.
You want to make sure that you have an updated personal brand and that you’re ready for any unforeseen circumstances. Whether that’s a change in the market and you find yourself out of work, or there is a promotion you’re being considered for.
You don’t want to find yourself in a time driven situation in which you need to update a document you haven’t looked at for ten years.
Kris’s belief is that it much better serves your career to have an ongoing document that you can use, can be proud of and can properly reflect your current brand at any given time.
Should you tailor your resume to specific job roles?
Individuals should have a single resume and there are very few outlying circumstances, however, your resume should use position specific language.
Having individual resumes that are specifically tailored to each job for which you are applying has the potential to create a schizophrenic job search in place of a search that is clearly focussed.
It is important to have an idea of the direction you are trying to go in and then market yourself appropriately, incorporating position-specific language, and aligning it across your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
Changing your resume for every job you apply for can quickly become disorganized, confuse recruiters and cause you to rack your brains trying to remember which version you sent across to the person on the other end of the phone.
Three things the modern resume must have
Ensure your resume meets these criteria to give yourself the best chance for success.
- Position specific language
Nowadays your resume will pass through a series of different automated filters (Applicant Tracking Software Systems). These filters act as the gatekeeper to the hiring agent on the other side and are specifically looking for keywords, so you need to make sure you have incorporated the correct language that is relevant to your industry and position.
- Results oriented detail
Be sure to outline what you have accomplished and the things you have achieved that can add to the bottom line of the organization to which you are applying.
Your resume should be a snapshot of your greatest career accomplishments, rather than a laundry list of all of your job duties. Describe these achievements in a manner that makes it easy for potential employers to understand your return on investment.
- Eye-catching presentation
Your resume is a marketing tool and you need to use it as such. You have less than seven seconds to capture the interest of a recruiter. Good use of white space and a modern font can greatly increase your chances.
Kris’s final tip for modernizing your resume in less than 10 seconds? Stop using Times New Roman.