Many believe that resume writing success is about landing a job. In other words, your resume is successful only when you are offered a position in the company right off the bat. However, in that regard no one's resume is ever successful because no hiring manager would take responsibility and offer a position in the company on the basis of application documents only. Therefore, before starting to drafting your most important marketing document, make sure you understand its purpose and what goal it is meant to achieve within your job search campaign. And when it comes to a resume, there basically can be only one purpose - to get you to the interview stage. It is there where your chances are seriously assessed and hiring decisions regarding candidates are made. If you think that resume writing success is defined by whether you get a job offer, you cannot be further from the truth... Eliminating common misconceptions about resume writing and hiring practices should help job seekers in their efforts to achieve their career goals.
How to Write a Successful Resume?
Now as we defined resume writing success, we can move on to how to create an application document that will land you job interviews in the companies you are interested in working at. Most job seekers don't bother spending half on hour to draft a resume and another hour to send it out to potential employers (usually found on various online job boards). Such job search tactics is doomed to failure so what people think would save time does nothing but wastes this time and opportunities...
In order to write a resume that will land you job interviews you need to know your career goals. Surprisingly enough, not all people have career goals so it may well be that you will have to think of some prior to writing a resume. Without understanding what kind of position and where you want to get it is almost impossible to achieve success in resume writing. Hoping someone will offer you a job based on how good you are is the road with a dead end. It leads nowhere. It is only when you know specific position and job requirements, you can then think of drafting your main marketing document. It's like in the race where you first need to identify where the finish line is and only then decide which way leads to that finish line. Without knowing where the finish, you can forget about the start because the entire race is doomed for failure.
When you know the target job and its requirements, you can start thinking of your job skills and qualifications that match up with what particular employer needs. If you try to look at the entire thing from the employers' perspective you will better understand what they expect: they look for people who will be able to bring value to the company by covering specific areas of responsibility. In other words, companies are after people who will be able to help the company. Most job openings contain information about what employers need specifically and this must become your guideline in resume writing. So identify your relevant skills and experiences and make sure they can be easily spotted when your resume is reviewed. Keep in mind, that it is all about relevant information. Things that have nothing to do with the job shouldn't be there, they bring no valuable information to employer (no matter how much you like that information). Write down somewhere on a piece of paper all relevant experiences and qualifications that would communicate to potential employer that you are a good match for the position. This is the point when you actually can draft your resume.
By now you should know where the finish line (your target job) is and how to get there (your relevant skills) so it is time to get to the writing part. Resume writing is a complex process and several paragraphs will not be enough to cover all of the aspects of this process but in general your document must contain the following: summary of qualifications, accomplishments, professional experience, educational credentials and skills. You can check 7 basic resume writing rules developed by the team of our resume writers to understand how to draft a document that will land job interviews. Knowing how hiring managers assess your resume could also help you gain insight as to how you should format your document. One of the most important rules is that you should be tailoring your resume for every job opening. Yes, it takes more time but this is how resume writing success is achieved. If you are serious about your job search, there are no shortcuts to take.
Where to Use My Resume?
Lastly, don't put too much hope into job openings. Most jobs are never advertised online - that's where networking can help you gain information about "hidden" opportunities. The Lou Adler's survey reveals that over 85% of jobs are filled via networking which should convince job seekers invest more of their time into networking. Other respectable job search sites say that over 50% of jobs are never advertised online. As we have mentioned before, many choose to rather spend time searching new job openings online. Networking means you have to interact with real people to find out about job opportunities. No, it doesn't mean you have to ask whether they can help you get a job in their company right away (as opposed to what many people believe networking to be). It is about building a network of former co-workers, teammates, friends, and relatives to learn about the companies they work for and opportunities available there. It may not land you an interview right away so don't expect quick results.
Many job seekers think that if this approach doesn't bring results in a couple of weeks it never will. But the truth of the matter is that networking takes time but at least the time spent networking is a smart investment as opposed to searching through the online job ads. Contact everyone you know and ask for information (or even job leads when appropriate). You may be surprised to see how many important contacts your friends or relatives may have. You can do that via phone or email. The best option is to meet and talk in person obviously but unfortunately that is not always possible since you have only 24 hours in a day. But don't limit yourself to the circle of people you know. Go to a business social meeting or association event. You can meet there many people who have the same career goals and they might have the contacts you are after. Conduct information interviews with the contacts and ask for referrals. In most cases, you will have to tailor your resume when you get a chance to show it to a prospective employer - it must be relevant and up-to-date.