How to write a resume

Your resume is the most important document you will ever own. When it works, you work; and when it doesn’t, you don’t. Unfortunately, technology has revolutionized corporate recruitment, and you may not know what it takes to build a killer resume for today’s job search. Here are some suggestions that form the foundation of every killer resume.

*Understand the need of customer

“Understand and sell to your customers’ needs” is the phrase that underlies all business success stories. In the same way that corporations tailor products to appeal to their customers, you need to create a resume tailored to your customers’: the people in a position to hire you.

You don’t write a resume by reciting everything you have ever done, because your customers don’t care. They want to know if you can do the one specific job they are trying to fill right now.

Your resume will work better when it focuses on the skills and experiences you bring to the responsibilities and deliverables of a specific target job. This requires that your resume focus on how employers think about, prioritize, and describe that job’s deliverables.

*Focus on your strength

Decide on a single target job, one that you have the credentials and experience for, then collect six job postings and analyze how your target employers think about and express their needs for that job. Prioritize their common requirements, and capture all the words and phrases used to describe them, in a fresh Microsoft Word document. Then re-read this composite analysis of employers’ needs: you can now say, “this is how employers think about and describe the job I want.”

This knowledge will help your resume get pulled from resume databases for review by recruiters.

*Use a suitable title

Seven out of ten resumes writers forget to follow contact information with a target job title. Every movie or TV show you have ever watched, every book, article, or blog you have ever read, starts with a title: it gives focus and draws the reader in. A Target Job Title will help make your resume more visible in database searches and will give the recruiter immediate focus.

*Ping the job’s objective

Starting your resume with a job objective is a waste of time and space. No recruiter—and no employer—really cares what you want until they know you have what they want. The top of your resume is prime real estate: algorithms favor information at the top of a document, so the right words up front can help your resume get pulled from databases. On top of that, your resume gets a first-time reading of between 5 and 45 seconds, so the first section is where you grab or lose the reader’s attention.

*Build a strong profile

The first section of your resume should carry the title “Performance Profile,” and it should profile your ability to do this job. Secret 2 told you how to get inside your customer’s head and understand both his needs for this job and how he thinks about and expresses those needs.

Take the most common requirements from this Target Job Deconstruction (TJD) and rewrite them as your Performance Profile. Because long paragraphs are hard on the eyes, keep yours to a maximum of five lines; this can be followed by a second paragraph or a list of bullets. This will aid database visibility and create immediate resonance with a recruiter’s tired eyes.

*Clearly mention your skills

Clear identification of the skills you bring to a target job is critical to your resume’s database performance and to a strong first impression on a recruiter. Following your Target Job Title and Performance Profile should be a Professional Skills or Core Competencies section.

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