How To Write A Resume Which Seduces Recruiters And Hiring Managers

Recruiters and hiring managers will love your resume - if you do this.

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You're here because you need to know how to write a resume that positions you as a superior candidate. You need to write a resume which impresses recruiters and employers. Well, you're in the right place.

The last time you needed a resume, floppy disks and Walkmans were all the rage.

Or maybe, it was the era of CDs and Zunes. Regardless, for most of your professional life, your career moves have happened organically.

Your reputation preceded you. You knew just the right person to get your foot in the door.

resume writing services

But now, the job search landscape is one of digital sophistication. Technology has levelled the playing field and competition for plum assignments is fierce.

Which means landing that next opportunity is beyond the powers of your trusted long-held networks.

To compete, you need a stand-out resume. Yours, however, is sorely outdated. And your resume writing skills are, well, unhoned.

Why Your Resume Matters.

No doubt you’ve done a Google search and have seen lots of articles claiming the resume is dead.

But I’m here to tell you it’s not true.

Resumes are still a key component of most online job applications. Not to mention, they’re usually the first point of contact you have with a recruiter. Someone you’ve never met before but suddenly must court.

In fact, writing an effective resume is largely an exercise in winning the hearts and minds of the recruiters who are screening for the roles you want. Chances are, they’re your closest link to the Hiring Manager as well.

So, let’s ensure your seductive powers are up to snuff.

(Bonus Read: Ultimate List Of Resume Mistakes – 43 Resume Mistakes You Need To Fix).

The Chase Is On.

Back in the 1990’s, resume writing was considered a job for English professors. It was prudent to err on the side of formal.

Today, resume writing is like any other form of copywriting. Since you’re marketing your brand, it’s about the art of saying more with less. You wouldn’t ask someone on a date by telling them your whole life story, right? (At least I hope not!)

To make sure you can attract the attention you deserve, here are 10 tips for writing your resume in an appropriately come-hither fashion.

(Oh, and if you truly get stuck writing your resume and decide that you’d rather invest your money versus time into fixing it, consider using my resume writing services).

1. Start At The End.

The first major section of your resume is your profile. It’s also the main sticking point for most people who try to write a resume. To get yourself unstuck, skip the profile; leave it blank until the very end.

Instead, begin writing your resume by planning a structure (a skeleton of sorts). Next, fill out the peripheral sections (education, board roles, etc.).

(Bonus Read: How to Include References on Your Resume – The Right Way).

Finally, zero in on the job descriptions, ensuring that your achievements are constructed correctly (more about them in a moment).

Once all the other sections are in place, write the profile; treat it as an exercise in summarising who you are as a professional.

2. Articulate Your Value.

Before you begin to chop and spice, it’s important to get grounded in what you stand for. It’s called your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

Ask yourself what you do that no one else does, why, and for whom. Knowing this will help you determine what’s in and what’s out for your resume.

Also, tailor your USP to the position and the industry. Your resume shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all.

3. Write Like A Marketer (Or A Poet).

The best marketing copy is, dare I say it, like poetry. Each word packs a punch. Has a reason for being there.

Buzzwords, long-winded sentences, adjectives for the sake of it are like empty calories in your diet.

What’s that – you’re no David Ogilvy or Wallace Stevens? Doesn’t matter. With practice, patience, and the discipline of measuring each word against your USP, you’ll polish your resume like a diamond.

More tips on this below.

4. Use High-Impact Words.

Cull words on your resume ruthlessly.

Each word on your resume should serve to activate your brand story. Since it’s impossible to avoid space-hogs like prepositions and articles, instead hone in on your verbs and adjectives.

If you’re applying for senior positions, remember to use high-impact verbs:

  • shaped
  • championed
  • spearheaded
  • led
  • drove

As for your adjectives, avoid buzz word fillers such as:

  • detail-oriented
  • results-driven
  • strategic thinker

They’re overused, which means they make you look the same as everyone else.

5. Use Sharp Language.

While we’re on the topic of words, I recognise that the advice I gave in Tip #4 above has the potential to create the opposite problem.

Yes, you want to position yourself as a superior candidate. And yes, you want your language to be potent and impactful. But sometimes the line between being authentic and arrogant is a fine one.

If you’re using too many three- and four- syllable words, or overly flowery language, you might come across as pompous. Which could disqualify you from being in the running for a role you want.

For example, instead of saying…

“Conceptualised novel IT operating model, utilising model to effortlessly streamline divisional operations and drive exceptional cost-savings.”

Try saying…

“Designed innovative IT operating model to streamline division, increasing efficiency by 41% and delivering $200K in cost-savings in Y1”.

 

Bottom line: as you write your resume for the first time keep your language fluent, yet direct.

6. Create A Story.

Besides being your brand in a bottle, your resume is an ideal career fact sheet for recruiters. So, it needs to strike a balance between aspiration and reality.

And yet, your resume is just the beginning of your personal branding story. The colour and flavour you’re dying to share is the stuff of other online channels such as LinkedIn, and/or your personal website.

Sporting a fluffy, self-serving objective statement? Ditch it. Replace it with a fact-based headline that targets the role you’re seeking, buoyed by relevant skills or achievements.

For example:

“CPA & MBA-Qualified CFO.”

Also consider adding a brief summary that encapsulates your most recent and relevant career history.

When writing your resume, exclude information which will distract recruiters from your USP. (Sharing that you spend your free time attending Star Trek conferences might not work to your benefit).

The character Joe Friday in the classic detective series Dragnet, was famous for one line: “Just the facts, ma’am “. Follow his advice.

7. Quantify Your Successes.

As you are writing your achievements, keep three words in mind:

  • what
  • how
  • why

These three words should guide how you articulate your responsibilities, skills and achievements.

Try including the responsibilities that best represent your most relevant and impressive work. The rest are likely boilerplate. Same goes for skills.

8. Don’t List Every Job.

Understand the needs of your potential employer. Then go back to your USP. What is it that you can uniquely provide to satisfy their needs? That, in turn, will help you decide how to position your job history.

It will also help you decide what you should include, and what you should scratch.

Other things to consider: Don’t go too far back with jobs, as it may make you seem too senior (read: old).

Oh, and don’t do anything silly like cutting and pasting your job description into your resume, or use words from the job description you’re interested in. Be unique, because you are.

9. Design For Online.

It’s critical to remember that your resume may never be printed. In fact, it’s most likely to be perused on a smartphone while your millennial recruiter is multitasking.

Think contemporary, clean, easy-on-the-eyes for your design. Put your most important information at the top of the visual hierarchy, and let the rest flow from there.

10. Spread The Love Around.

Don’t feel the need to cram everything into your resume. That detail you were dying to add? Put it on your LinkedIn profile.

Or better yet, on your personal website.

Like all the great brands around today, yours needs to be disseminated across a number of touch points. Allow each one to tell a different part of your brand story.

Remember, your humble (but soon to be amazing) resume is just one piece of your personal branding pie.

Seduction Is An Art.

Learning how to write a resume takes time.

As with most things in life, it’s possible to take shortcuts, but these tend to come back and haunt you – through lost job opportunities and rejection letters from the very recruiters you’re seeking to win over.

The passion and devotion you have for your life’s work should shine through in every single word of your resume.

My advice? Do it right the first time. Yes, it requires a greater time investment upfront, but it’s one which will pay dividends sooner. Your career is, after all, how you spend most of your life.

If writing your resume is a labour of love, chances are good your resume will help you make the career connection of your dreams.

 

– Irene

 

 

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