It’s a frustrating experience for job seekers: you fill out the company’s pages-long application, and then they ask you for a resume. Um, didn’t you just tell them everything they need to know?
It might seem like a waste of time to do both, but resumes serve many purposes that the standard application doesn’t satisfy. Let’s take a deeper dive into what a resume is and how to use it to your advantage on the job hunt.
What is the Core Purpose of a Resume?
In its most basic function, a resume is a summary of your education, job experience, and skills. It’s a snapshot of who you are that will either make employers want to learn more or move on to another candidate.
Think of your resume as your personal advertisement. How you present yourself in your resume can determine whether or not you’re called for an interview. With this in mind, it’s important to develop your resume to suit each company or job you’re applying to. Each job and company will have their own needs and priorities when selecting a candidate, and you’ll want to tailor your content to meet those needs and priorities.
Benefits of a Solid Resume
When your resume is designed to sell your skills and experience (basically a marketing tool), great things will happen. Consider the benefits of a rock solid resume specifically created for you vs one that simply follows the template you downloaded from some free website:
Your resume introduces you to the company on your behalf. Think of it as the ultimate first impression. Whatever a recruiter sees on your resume will set the tone for all future communications and interactions.
You have the power to shape a first impression by creating a standout resume.
Just as you dress to impress in an interview or on a date, you should “dress” your resume to highlight your best skills, experiences, and achievements to impress the recruiter. How you structure your resume matters, especially since most recruiters spend less than six seconds scanning your content.
For starters, you’ll want to front-load the most important information rather than stick it at the bottom or the end of the sentence. Also, using power words (i.e. verbs) will help to create visuals in the recruiter’s mind and make your resume memorable.
The more you can impress on paper, the better chance you have of blowing their minds in an interview.
What good is a resume if it doesn’t make you look better than the stack of other resumes on the desk? Your resume shouldn’t just communicate why you’re a great catch, but also why you’re likely the best candidate for the job. (Don't these look great?!)
Granted, you don’t know a thing about the other people who have applied. And while you don’t want to come off as being conceited, you also don’t want to sell yourself short.
The best way you can stand out from the pack is simply by communicating what you can do for the company, and adding some character to your resume. Many candidates waste their time talking only about what they’ve done or know how to do, so try to focus on how you can put your experience to work in your new role.
Does Your Resume Serve Its Purpose?
Is your resume living up to its potential? Whether it needs some simple tweaking or a complete rebuild, reach out today and let’s create a standout resume that will make you a competitive candidate!