Everyone knows that our economy is in shambles. Jobs are scarce and everyone is worried about money. As a college student it can be even scarier because not only do you face all the same challenges as everyone else, but you also have to deal with not having any real world experience which can really be a major pain in the ass when it comes down to figuring out how to write a resume.
After years of studying the hiring process and learning how to become successful with interviewing and landing jobs consistently, I've discovered that the first step in getting hired ultimately comes down to being able to GET THE INTERVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE. And this can be done by learning how to write a resume.
But not just any resume... A resume that will AUTOMATICALLY attract employers and hiring managers and literally force them to want to interview you.
So what can you do to start learning how to write a resume?
Here are my 5 "Hidden Secrets" on how to write a resume:
1) Learn How Hiring Managers Think - How will you persuade employers to interview you? How can you make yourself look good enough on paper so that hiring managers will be convinced that you are worthy enough to bring in for a job interview? That is probably the most challenging assignment there is when it comes to creating a resume. Take Sun Tzu's advice from The Art of War, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Study hiring psychology. Study the hiring process. Figure out what employers are REALLY looking for.
2) Write With Their Needs In Mind - If you give employers what they want, they'll listen to you. What does every employer want in your resume? That's hard to say, because every employer has a different job that needs to be filled. Its your job to figure out what they want and deliver on those needs in your resume. Hiring managers generally ask themselves a few questions when they pick a resume to read. Here they are:
1. "Who cares?"
2. "So what?"
3. "What's in it for me?"
2. "So what?"
3. "What's in it for me?"
When you think about it, hiring managers are looking over your resume for their reasons, not yours. They don't care what you want. They care about what they want. Every employer, every hiring manager, is the same. Can you provide the answers? If you cant, your employers-well, you wont have any employers. Consider this step a part of your research phase in how to write a resume. Its an essential step in how to write a resume that will nail your future employer's eyes to the page.
That's what you want, isn't it?
3) Select The Format That Gets RESULTS - I get this question a lot from my clients, "How should I format my resume?" And do you know what I tell them? Use whatever format that does the job and gets you the interview. Period.
Now it turns out, there have been some formats that have been statistically proven to drive the best results and some formats that have been proven to drive the worst results. Based on my research, I'd recommend using the accomplishment based resume format and I would never EVER use the skills based (or functional) resume format.
4) Learn How To "Word-Smith" Your Accomplishments - This is where most of us "non-writers" get stuck in the resume writing process. "How do can I make my responsibilities sound really good?" The answer: Learn how to write a resume with hypnotic text. Learn how to build desire. Emotion. Learn how to let your words paint a picture and tell the story of your previous successes. Reel them in with benefits and curiosity. And give them reasons or logic for why they should interview you. Think about the hiring manager's emotional concerns, and talk to them in a way they cant ignore. If you do, you'll create a resume that is both persuasive and hypnotic. For example:
"Typed, performed data entry, answered phones, receptionist duties"
"Performed data entry for 16 regional hearing officers as member of eight person office team. Assisted with email responses, distribution, report generation, and payroll input. Helped purge backlog of 1,000 obsolete files."
Are you beginning to see why its important to learn how to MARKET yourself to employers?
5) Learn Resume Design Principles - Did you know studies of resume screeners have shown that "pretty" resumes are more likely to get into the interview pile than an "average" looking resume? Its true. This fact has been proven countless times. Having a resume design that is both simple and professional is crucial if you want to be able to stand out among the masses. The key is to make your resume look inviting and easy to read. You have to ask yourself, "If I were forced to read through thousands of resumes as my job, which ones would I naturally be biased towards before ever reading a single word?"
Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and wide margins. If you pick up a resume and it's a solid block of text, would you want to read it? Probably not. It's not inviting. It looks like work. Instead make your resume attractive. How you lay out your resume is a key factor in how to write a resume which can make people like it before they even read it.
As you can imagine, how you use those secrets is up to you. Go through your resume-go through the entire document-with these pointers in mind. Look for places to rewrite, reformat, or in any other way grab and hold your reader's attention. And as you absorb this information, you'll see that a resume is not merely a piece of paper used to convey your work experience. Its actually a marketing tool used to PROMOTE you as someone worthy of a job interview.
See the difference?
So in the comments below, let me know which one of these 5 secrets interests you the most...If I get a lot of good feedback, I might just post more detailed tips on "How To Write A Resume". Trust me, there's a lot more funk where this came from!