Love ‘em or hate ‘em, selfies don’t appear to be going away any time soon. Those sometimes cute and sometimes in bad taste self photos that say “look at me” are still a growing trend, so much so that The Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the Word of the Year in 2013. There are good things and bad things to say about selfies, but as a job seeker there is one aspect of the selfie you would be wise to emulate.
Just like those images attract attention, your resume should be doing the same. And just as those pictures can tell you a lot about the person being photographed, your resume tells potential employers a lot about you. With that in mind, it’s critical that what your resume says about you is positive, accurate, and intriguing. As Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a career and workplace adviser at Glassdoor, tells Forbes, “Resumes are the heartbeat of a career search. If done well, your resume will tell your story and sell you.”
Capture Your Good Side
There is a lot of good advice out there on what not to say in your resume and how you can make it better. However, you also really need to specifically consider what you want it to say – what kind of impression you want your resume to give. Every job and employer is different, but there are some basic characteristics that are desirable in every position or company, and you want to ensure your resume highlights those.
So check out these five things you want your resume to say about you and how to get the message across.
The best way to say you’re detail-oriented is by displaying it in your resume. Start by ensuring that there are no spelling mistakes within your resume and that your formatting is consistent throughout. Based on the position’s job description, include only the most effective information in your resume, and that means quantifying, not just describing, your accomplishments. As another Forbes article states, “We live in a metrics driven work culture and it’s no longer enough to state that you increased sales or productivity, you need to back it up with quantifiable data whenever possible.”
I Have Skills
Don’t confuse job responsibilities with skills. You want employers to have a full picture of what you can do and all the skills you bring to the table. Matt Tarpey, a career adviser with CareerBuilder, tells Forbes, “A list of hard skills and examples of how you put those skills to use in previous positions is a great way to stand out from the pack.”
Learned a new skill on your own time, taken on a leadership position within a professional organization, or working toward an advanced degree in the evenings? Include it in your resume. As US News explains, “Employers seek people who will take upon themselves more than what is actually expected or required.”
I Work Well With Others
Employers don’t want drama between their employees, so highlight your interpersonal skills. Include any experience you’ve had in a leadership role, successfully working on a team, or acting as a mediator between clients and vendors. This can also include experience outside the workplace, such as industry associations or non-profit organizations. “Employers want to hire people who can play well with others in the ‘corporate sandbox,’” another US News article says.
I’m A Good Communicator
Your resume will tell an employer very quickly whether or not you can communicate well. Providing succinct information that makes sense and uses proper grammar is vital. And, since communicating is also about listening and understanding, show that you understand what the employer is looking for by tailoring your resume to the specific position.
While the written resume may seem old-school compared to the selfie, it’s still very much a part of the job search. “Even as technology has advanced and changed the way job seekers find open positions, the resume remains an integral part of the hiring process,” Tarpey reinforces. And, as the ultimate selfie, you want your resume to scream, “Look at me!” for all the right reasons.
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