If you believe there are resume secrets hidden from you and you don’t know how to crack the code, this post is for you! Because. guess what: There are NO resume secrets–unless you believe a resume that will get you interviews is somehow mysteriously concocted by writers who have a pipeline into a well-protected Fort Knox of resume-writing secrets.
Anyone Can Write a Resume, Right?
Well, no. Or maybe yes, if we’re talking about a resume that might or might not produce any desirable results (such as an interview). It doesn’t take a genius to string a bunch of words together. On the other hand, even if you’re a better-than-average writer, you might find your writing skills aren’t up to par when it comes to creating a resume that’s going to work for you.
How well do you know yourself? Most of us would probably say “very well” or at least “better than anyone else knows me.” That’s fine as far as it goes, but with regard to resume writing, it might not go far enough. For one thing, your resume is not your autobiography–at least, it certainly shouldn’t be! Employers want more than your “employment history.” They want to know what you can do for them!
Resume “Secrets” You Should Know
Since the #1 goal for your resume is to help you land interviews–as a necessary precursor to getting a job offer–there’s one resume “secret” you should know:
Perceived value to employers far outweighs fancy wording (including lots of adjectives) or overly generous use of bullets and graphic lines. Don’t get carried away with what is essentially window-dressing.
Here are 3 more of those resume-writing “secrets”:
- Resume length doesn’t have a “one right answer” conclusion, although it does carry some general expectations. For example, in most cases if you’re a fairly recent college graduate, you should probably be able to manage nicely with a one-page resume. Contrariwise, if you’re a senior executive, one page is generally too short and two pages is mostly fine (in very rare cases, maybe three pages).
- Stale, over-used wording can make even a strong candidate sound boring and leave you looking like hundreds of other applicants in employers’ eyes.
- Job descriptions alone don’t capture employer attention and interest–unless you show how you’ve done those actions in an outstanding way, you’re not distinctive.
What this boils down to is that the real secret to developing a resume that will help you land job offers is to know as much as possible about your target (company and position) and make sure your resume presents you as a good–even great–fit for the opportunity. Then market your value through networking and other active methods, rather than just passively (i.e., job board posting, etc.).
That’s your best bet for gaining interviews and, ultimately, job offers.