If you are applying for your dream job, it is definitely worth it to take the time and make sure that your resume is the absolute best it could be. Your resume is the first impression that your potential employer will have of you, and you want it to knock their socks off so that they have no choice but to invite you for an interview! Writing a killer resume that gets you in the door at your dream position is challenging, but completely worth the extra effort.
Did you know that the techniques that fiction writers use to make a story more realistic can also be used to improve your resume? If you were writing a fiction story, you would want the reader to envision the scene that you were describing in strong and palpable detail. You would use powerful words and concrete descriptions to create this image in their head. This is no different than crafting a resume, as your goal is to make your potential employer create an image in their mind of you doing the job well. You can evoke this by using powerful words and concrete details.
When you are describing your accomplishments on your resume, stay away from stale, passive and cliché words and use “action” words instead. For example, saying that you were “responsible for increasing productivity in the group” is quite boring and doesn’t really say much about what you did. Use a powerful word like “Led” or “Directed” or “Accelerated” to show that you took control of the group. Then, explain exactly why the group was more productive when you were finished with them. Did you motivate them, develop a new organization strategy, or set direct goals and a plan to achieve them? Your final statement will end up saying something like “Accelerated group productivity by creating efficient methods of organization and time management.” That sounds much more dynamic, doesn’t it?
To truly persuade your potential employer, use concrete details to make your achievements seem more real. Use actual specific numbers to show what you have done. For example, “Managed a profitable department” doesn’t sound nearly as good as “Managed a marketing department of 100 employees at XYZ Industries which grew profits by 56% in 2011.” Instead of just saying that you graduated from your University with a Bachelor of Science, boast about your 3.8 GPA and your $1200 in scholarships. Use stats, numbers, figures and specific achievements to highlight exactly how amazing you are.
Using strong, active language and concrete facts and numbers will really make your achievements jump off the page. Writing your resume with these tips in mind will help you impress your potential employer and snag that ultimate job of your dreams!
Glen saysOctober 27, 2011 at 11:17 am
This is good advice but in today’s marketplace, far from a sure thing. Ironically, I have written hundreds of resumes for students and coworkers over the years and each one got a job with it. However, I hired a company to market my skills and talents and they wrote a resume for me with “action words” and statistics, yet after over 600 applications, I have received 4 interviews – two of which were in person. I have over 25 years of experience and am a dissertation short of a doctorate and have been unemployed now for over 15 months. Do you have any suggestions for me?