Anchor Personnel Network

Resume Help

A brief, compelling resume is one of the most important documents you will ever put in front of potential employers.  Often it is the first and only chance you'll have to convince someone to hire you!  Below are some tips for writing and especially rewriting your resume.

Don't have just one resume.  Have many!
The most compelling resumes are the ones that are rewritten specifically for each position.  Employers are looking for the perfect candidate who fits their needs and expectations.  Companies are attracted to candidates who they think most closely match that anticipated profile.  The best way to figure out what those needs are is to study the job listing itself.  Do a little research on the company’s website to find out exactly what they do and what they’re proud of.  Once you find out what the company is truly looking for, take your current resume and give it a make-over specifically tailored for that position.

Does the company describe itself as fast-paced?  Then rewrite and shuffle a few lines around in your resume to highlight any experience you’ve had when working in a particularly busy department.  Give examples of your ability to work within strict deadlines or your ability to multi-task.

Are they looking for a results-oriented performer?  Break down your accomplishments according to the bottom-line.  Explain how your responsibilities at your previous jobs cut costs or brought in new business.  You don't have to use concrete dollar amounts, but you do have to show that you share the company's goals of profitability.

Does the company want to hire a self-starter?  Bring attention to the times in which you worked without supervision, volunteered your ideas, or went beyond the call of duty to improve your workplace.  Describe yourself in terms of self-motivation and initiative.

Remember to always save your original resume as well as any new versions you write.  Treat it like a work in progress and your resume will always look fresh.

Treat your resume like real estate.
During the hiring process, employers often view hundreds or even thousands of resumes before they even get around to scheduling interviews.  Who could blame them if they scan a little?  That's why you have less than half a page to catch their attention and convince them to pay attention to you.  So you'd better make it count.

The first few lines of your resume are prime real estate.  Employers are accustomed to reading resumes that are arranged in chronological order, but you should still reserve some space at the top of the page to set yourself apart from the other applicants.  Before you jump into dates and job titles, write yourself a statement of purpose.  Describe the expectations that you have for yourself as well as what you want to get out of the job (besides a pay check, of course!).  List the skills that you think will be most be useful in this position.

Be relevant: "Cut the fat".
Be succinct and make every word count.  Use action words to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments during past employment.  Action words are verbs that describe how you proactively improved your work environment.  Replace lackluster verbs like "did", "had", and "was", with more powerful and expressive words like "coordinated", "generated", and "resolved".

Even your job titles have to pack a punch.  Use job titles that most accurately reflect your role and responsibilities during your past employment.  If you did some billing and bookkeeping while answering phones, don't shortchange yourself by just writing down your official title of "receptionist".  You were a Bookkeeper/Receptionist or Accounts Receivable/Reception.

Also, trim out any old or unrelated work experience.  If you want to be hired for a paralegal position, the employer doesn't want to know that you dropped fry baskets at the Burger Shack in high school.  List only work experience that is applicable to the position you're seeking.  This not only cuts down on the length of your resume, but it also gives greater spotlight to the more relevant experience.  If you're especially proud of your entire employment record, just add "Earlier Job History Available Upon Request" to the end of your relevant experience to show the employer that there is more should she or he wish to inquire.

It’s never easy summarizing a life in just a page or two of printed text.  However, remember that a resume is a billboard for you and your accomplishments.  Don’t make excuses and don’t be dishonest.  Do bring attention to your achievements and treat the job opportunity as a way to better yourself.  Employers are attracted to candidates who know what they want and exhibit strength.  Rewrite your resume so that your qualities are highlighted and you’re the star of the show.