How to Write a Killer Resume?

See also: Writing a CV or Resume

You might have an impressive working history or hands-on experience, but if you do not know how to put that down on paper, your potential employers will never know what a talent you are.

A perfect resume is something that not everyone has but a resume is an important document that can help you land a job or gain a promotion, effectively ensuring that you earn a higher income.

This piece of paper, your resume or CV, is a representation of yourself and should reflect you accordingly. While you might be tempted to make yourself sound more confident and competent than you really are, remember that you will have to live up to your resume.

When they call you in for a job interview and they realize that you aren’t all that your resume makes you out to be, what do you think are your chances of getting the position? Not only does it show the employer that you are inadequate, it also reflects on your attitude when it comes to working. Nobody wants a liar on their team. Would you?

Keep these things in mind when you’re crafting your resume

Now how do you write a resume that will look impressive but not be braggy or come across as arrogant? There are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help you put yourself and your achievements down on paper in a straightforward but also unforgettable way - it has to make a strong first impression in order to get you noticed by HR in the first place, so here are our top tips on penning a killer resume.

Think about what a hiring manager is concerned about

Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. What do you think that they are more interested in, your achievements or your day-to-day duties? If you answered the latter, you might want to start tweaking your resume so it highlights your achievements and not your responsibilities. You have to remember that anyone in charge of recruitment is likely to have a large volume of resumes to go through and hiring managers are likely to gloss over the fluff to get straight to the good stuff. Furthermore, by including your daily duties, it shows that you don’t have a big role to play in the organization and have no achievements to exhibit. This screams of a ‘coaster’ mentality, whereby employees join a company simply to do the bare minimum and reap the maximum rewards of getting a salary on top of employee benefits.

Your achievements should highlight how you brought value to your previous company. Did you host a highly successful event which resulted in a big company win? How did you increase bottom line revenue? Perhaps an introduction to a CRM increased sales and productivity by 300%? If you have numbers that demonstrate your achievements, then include those numbers. If you have any awards, certificates, or accolades, let your potential employer know about them. Allow your resume to boast about your accomplishments for you.

Cut the vague crap and insert something substantial

You know how team members on a project can all say that they were a part of a project, even if they only carried maybe 5% of their own weight? Well, employers know this so if you add vague statements like “increased sales” or “improved productivity”, it is an open-ended indication with no solid evidence. Give solid examples of what you accomplished, tell your employers how much you did and paint a picture for them so that they can understand how you contributed to the company. Perhaps you can say that what you did led to “$50,000 revenue in sales over a 2-month period”. Be specific and as detailed as possible.

How you add your skills to your resume is important too. Simply adding one skill after another won't cut it. You'll need to think carefully about how you do this and make sure you convey the right message. Pick the skills that are most relevant to the job position and decide on how you want to add them.

Be smarter than Artificial Intelligence

We’re not suggesting that humans are inferior to machines, but the fact is that many employers are now employing the use of robots in their hiring - and even firing - process. Specialist software will filter resumes based on keywords that are relevant to the job position. To get through such filters, look at the job description carefully and include as many keywords as you can in your resume. And, yes, this means that you will need to go through and edit your resume for every new job position you apply for, as you should.

Important keywords will include the job position but may also be certain skills or a number of years of experience. Make sure you hit the minimum requirement or else don’t bother because your resume might not even be looked at. However, if you’re determined, give it a try anyway - who knows? Some hiring managers might have the minimum requirements as a guideline instead of a strict rule and would be willing to bend it in the favor of someone who is really worth it - just make sure that you have an equally killer cover letter.

Be aware of the information that you include in your resume

If you have an extensive background, it might be tempting to include everything you can think of in your resume, but you should refrain from adding everything such as your volunteer experience or every single part-time job you have had. As mentioned above, you should be tweak your resume to meet the requirements of each job position. If you’re applying for a job at a pet-related industry, it does stand to reason why you should include any animal-related experience and even managerial experience you might have. However, if you’re applying to a tech company, you might want to focus on the qualifications and experience that you have which will be an asset for their company. For example, a digital marketing agency might be more interested in your skills in web development than your stint at McDonald’s when you were working part-time during your university years.

Too much information will only turn the reader off and too much noise will cancel out your main message of how you’re such a great fit for the position. Focus on the job scope and position that you’re applying for when you’re writing a resume for a certain position. Don’t create one generic resume and apply to as many positions as you can because this will not increase your chances at all.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.