When it comes to resumes, especially for those who haven't been in the job market for a long time, it can be difficult knowing exactly what employers will be looking for. A few select points of emphasis, however, can upgrade it drastically, allowing for much stronger attention from hiring managers.
Backing up your achievements with statistics or concrete facts whenever possible is a great way to get ahead of the crowd, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. There's a marked difference between stating that you've "exceeded sales goals" and having facts to back that information up - in such a scenario, saying that you sold 115 percent over your expected goal for a quarter, or had improved upon previous figures after entering a new position by 20 percent, will garner a much better reaction from anyone looking at the resume itself.
However, it's not enough to simply say that you've succeeded at a goal. Many professionals who will read the average resume will want to know how you've done it, but when writing, it always isn't the time to list all of your skills and approaches. A select few that emphasize your best strengths will do a fine job in this situation, but leaving the serious details for a potential job interview means you'll have plenty of impressive qualifiers to discuss one-on-one. Think of a resume like an appetizer before the main course of the interview - you want to impress your audience, but leave them hungry for more.
Appeal to their needs
Many resumes fall into the trap of the applicant expressing why they should be hired, but neglect to include their potential employer in the proceedings. Doing the opposite should be your intention, according to USA Today.
Instead of presenting your skills as things you've done, it's a better idea to present them in a positive light reflecting upon the ways you were able to assist your previous employers. Hiring managers will respond to resumes that present solutions for their company and show drive and determination toward solving important problems to them - by targeting your goals aligned to their goals, you'll hit that mark.
Quality over quantity, too, should be a goal of your resume's overall presentation. Some workers find that they're put at a disadvantage when they stuff their resume with a page or two of work experience. Many of them don't realize that a percentage of that information isn't pertinent to the job they're actually applying for.
A shorter resume is easier for a hiring manager to glance over and gives them less information to process, as the most important details will be the only ones on the page. Your key titles, your accomplishments and your defining factors are all that really need to be left on your resume, and hiring managers will respect you all the more for it.
There's no defined order
Nowhere in the resume building process should you think that there's a specific guideline to the way your information should be presented. Education, work experience and accomplishments don't necessarily need to go in any order - other than that the most prevalent information should be placed as high as possible. If it's likely to impress a manager, you should put it closer to the top, where it's more likely that someone looking at it will see it first and have the rest of their initial impression of you improved.
If you have skills, don't bury them but instead embrace them. By doing so, you'll ensure that your most relevant information is what people will see about you, and that is definitely a positive thing.