Résumé Workshop

How to effectively present your experience and skills to a prospective employer

In recent years, social media has presented a variety of opportunities for professionals to brand themselves and describe their expertise. The résumé, however, is still the document recruiters and hiring managers request to judge an applicant’s  qualifications—but the expectation has changed. “The résumé is not about you,” explains Jeff Metzger, owner of and résumé writer at Your Résumé Consultant (www.yourresumeconsultant.com). “A good résumé is about your prospective employer.” To stand out from the competition, it’s important that job seekers use the résumé to convey their unique talents and specific skills, and how those talents and skills will benefit an employer.

New Résumé
Create a “Professional Profile”:
“A professional profile answers that problem of why they should hire you. This is your opportunity to showcase your experience and key differentiators.” Metzger says to stay away from overused words like “team player,” “self-motivated” and “attention to detail,” and use phrases like “specific expertise in.”

Use a title that’s close to the job you’re seeking:
“It tells the person what you want.” The hiring manager should be able to tell what your expertise is at first glance. “They have 10 or 15 or more jobs that they’re sourcing and hundreds of résumés that they’ve received in response to a job. If I’m hiring for a customer service rep, I want to see that on top, not sales or operations.”

Quantify your responsibilities:
Due to the competitiveness of the workplace, today it’s important to outline what you do. If your responsibility is to create spreadsheets, say something such as “created four spreadsheets on quarterly budgets for review by senior management.” Explain how you’ve impacted or improved company business.

Use strong, specific language:
Led, managed, and directed are great action words. Create an attractive, conservative design appropriate for the industry. Metzger prefers Garamond font to Times New Roman, which is commonly used.

Old Résumé
Lose the “Objective”:
Having an objective at the top of your résumé is outdated. In fact, if recruiters see it, they believe the job hunter is out of touch, says Metzger.

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