What Makes a Top-Quality Resume? And Why You Need One
by Gary Kanter and Tom Washington
The truth is, a resume is not just a resume. The impact of an effective resume goes far beyond the simple act responding to a job ad. There are, in fact, at least six benefits to writing a top-quality resume:
You will get more interviews when responding to job ads and when sending an unsolicited resume
Your resume becomes your calling card and helps people remember you, while also enabling them to contact you and refer you to others
Knowing you look good on paper builds confidence and self-esteem
You will be better prepared for interviews
Because it emphasizes results, your resume will guide your interviews and enable you to focus on your most positive experiences
It will help your prospective boss justify the decision to hire you
We’re going to show you how to create a resume that has real impact. You’ll be making dozens of decisions as you construct your resume; the information and examples provided will enable you to make the right decisions and make them quickly. There is no single right way to do anything, but we can assure you that if you follow the advice, you will produce a resume that looks good, reads well, and most importantly, has impact.
Remember, a resume is not just a resume. It represents you. Take the time to create a resume that presents the best you have to offer. A resume won’t get you a job, but it can help get interviews. Or, put another way, a good resume won’t get you a job, but a bad one will cost you jobs. Set your mind on spending whatever time it takes to produce a resume that truly sells you.
What Makes A Top-Quality Resume?
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
A resume must be visually appealing. Lasting impressions can be formed during the first five seconds your resume is read. That’s how long it takes someone to view the layout, observe the quality of the typing and printing, and note the color and quality of the paper. Of course most of this takes place on an subconscious level. Resumes are usually scanned the first time through. If the reader detects misspellings, poor-quality printing, clumsy or verbose writing, or a confusing layout, the resume may be set aside after just ten or twenty seconds. The result—no interview.
The top-quality resume presents you in the best possible light, yet does not exaggerate your qualifications. Every item is selected carefully to promote you in the eyes of the employer. Unflattering facts are not hidden, they are either left unmentioned or carefully turned into positives. The resume that concentrates on strengths helps you obtain interviews. Make positive statements about yourself; throw false modesty aside.
Write with impact. Impact is achieved with tight, concise phrases using action verbs. Impact is achieved when you accurately describe and project your desired image. Your full potential will come across only when you write with impact. Effective writing requires plenty of editing and rewriting—something even best‑selling authors must do. The effective resume provides valuable information quickly and is easy to read. Each sentence expresses a fact, impression, or idea which will help sell you. All unnecessary words and phrases have been removed. Concise writing is appreciated by all employers and reveals much about your ability to communicate.
An effective resume is filled with results and accomplishments. You’ve got many results, which, when described properly, will cause employers to want to meet you.
Whether for an online or a paper resume, your resume should contain key words that hiring managers in your field will be looking for.
Resume Principles You Need to Understand
The Laws of Resume Writing
There are no laws when it comes to resume writing, but there are principles that generally work. But any rule or principle can be ignored if doing so will help sell you to employers more effectively. (This website contains the entire text of Resume Empower. The book will present the principles of writing a top quality resume)
How to Begin>
Use our book Resume Empower as your guide (http://www.careerempowering.com/resume-empower/table-of-contents-for-resume-empower.html). Before your resume is completed, you will have made dozens of important decisions. Each section of a resume is explained in detail and you’ll learn when and how to use each section, as well as how to write it. Examples and options are provided. You’ll know what will work best for you. Examples throughout the book explain and demonstrate particular points.
How Interview Decisions Are Made
Have you ever wondered how employers decide who will get interviews after they’ve placed job ads online or in newspapers? A good job will typically attract 75 to 200 resumes. An employer who has a batch of resumes on her desk will usually scan each one for 15 to 25 seconds and place each resume in either the “I’m interested” pile or the “reject” pile. When screening resumes, people are usually looking for reasons to reject. That’s why even one typo can be a killer. A resume which contains obvious typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors, or verbose writing, will most likely end up in the reject pile. Those who obviously lack the necessary background for the position will also end up in the reject pile.
Out of 80 resumes, perhaps only 20 will be placed in the “I’m interested” pile. Those 20 will be read, with one to five minutes devoted to each. Out of the initial 80 resumes, ten will generally make it through this screening process. Of the ten or so applicants who are called, perhaps six will be invited for interviews.
There is one type of resume that gets through this process nearly every time—the one that sells potential. That’s the resume you need to write. We will show you techniques you can use to create a resume with this kind of impact. We’ll take you through each section of a resume and show you how to pull all of the pieces together.