With a new year right around the corner, many people are searching for ways to better themselves and their lives. For employees, one way might be with a new job. Of course, looking for a new job can be a job all in itself. That’s why a well-crafted resume is so important. When properly written, resumes create value for job seekers—and for the employers they’re hoping to entice.
How Resumes Create Value
While a resume has the job seeker’s name at the top of it, in truth, it’s not about that person. It’s about the value that person can provide to an employer. And that value starts at the very beginning of the document.
You know your resume needs to have contact information. At least one would hope so. But there are, surprisingly, a number of resumes that lack any contact information and many others that have extraneous information. Here’s what you should be including right at the top of your resume:
- Mobile phone number
- Personal email address
- Custom LinkedIn URL
On the second page of your resume, be sure that you have made a clear break between pages (not mid-sentence), and repeat your contact heading with at least your name and number or email. That’s insurance should the resume be printed and then separated.
Title or Headline
Following the name and contact information, resumes create value by telling the reader who you are for them. We haven’t used objectives on resumes for more 20 years, mostly because they are more about you and less about your value to the employer. A title or headline is a simple job title.
Remember that the title is what you’re seeking, not what you are doing now. So if you’re currently the director of marketing and want to move up to VP of marketing, that latter is the title that will go on your resume.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I am benefitting from your help. My former company merged with another company and my role was eliminated. Thanks to your input, I had such a head start on updating my personal marketing documents. I started plugging away at my LinkedIn profile and immediately caught the attention of headhunters all across the country.Joanna Bledsoe
Perhaps the biggest section in which resumes create value for employers is the summary. In the ’90s and before, resumes had an objective (all about you) and highlights of qualifications. Both of these did little to share value. Now, resumes have a title, summary, and areas of expertise. All of these are geared toward sharing what you bring to the table.
Your summary should answer the question, “Why should I hire you?” Share your overall approach and commitment to the position as well as key ways you’ve been an asset across your career. Steer clear of sharing the number of years of experience you have, unless you are new to the market and want to highlight work you’ve done while in college.
Areas of Expertise
Essentially your keywords section, areas of expertise are the core competencies and transferable skills you offer. They should be formatted as a table or column list, highlighting 9–16 words and phrases that will intrigue an employer.
Remember to update your areas of expertise for each position. Keywords change from job to job, and if your keywords don’t match those for which the employer is searching, you’re going to lose traction. A crucial way resumes create value is by including the keywords that applicant tracking systems are looking for.
An old-school approach to resume writing is to list each position you’ve had followed by a bulleted list of things you did in that position. There’s no value in that.
Instead, compose results-oriented accomplishments. They should be about how you made the company / clients money, saved the company / clients money, made clients / management / employees / stakeholders happy, or improved processes and systems. And each statement should start with the result: “Increased sales 25% in six months following implementation of new employee-training program.”
Is Your Resume Adding Value?
While it’s not impossible to write your own resume well, you’ll be on a better path to your next career with a professionally written document. Resumes create value by talking about your value, and that’s something that can be challenging to share yourself. After all, we are taught to be humble and not brag about our accomplishments.
With more than 20 years of experience writing interview-getting resumes, we know what hiring managers are looking for on your resume. Whether you need a quick turnaround or extensive support that includes career coaching, networking advice, and job-search support that will advance your career, we have you covered. We craft custom resumes and LinkedIn profiles that truly showcase your value.
To see if your resume is on the right track, email it today to firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary review.