The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “H” is for HIGHLIGHT

H: When writing your resume, HIGHLIGHT these three areas to land more interviews.

In resume writing, accomplishments are king. Accomplishments are what set you apart from the competition. They tell what you did, why you did it, and what results were obtained. By far, well-written accomplishments play a key role to getting the interviews you want. However, accomplishments alone will not do the job. When writing your resume, there are three sections that you should focus on to ensure that your resume rises to the top of the stack.

Qualifications

Qualifications point to your professional credentials and experience. This information is best located immediately after your contact information in a section entitled “Qualifications Profile” or “Qualifications Summary”. Similar titles could be “Professional Profile” or “Career Summary”. Qualifications provide a quick snapshot of who you are as a professional and therefore should be written to convey the following key points: soft skills, hard skills, professional brand, and your contribution/value. This section replaces the age-old objective statement that is slowly fading away on most resumes today. Objective statements are traditionally “me-focused” and quite frankly, employers don’t care what you want to do. They have a position to fill and want to know if you posses the qualifications and have the experience necessary to do the job.

Core Competencies

Core competencies are keywords used to describe your strengths and abilities. For example, someone with a back ground in sales and marketing could use terms such as account retention, brand management, business development, campaign management, market positioning, and multimedia advertising to showcase skills that they are competent in. You do not have to be an expert to list competencies on your resume, but it is recommended that you have at least a working knowledge of the skill. The key here is to tailor your list of competencies to the position you are applying for. If the position calls for experience in international sales and field sales management and you are experienced in these areas, be sure to include them on your resume. But don’t just stop there; be sure to provide evidence of your experience by highlighting examples of where you utilize the competency. This can be done in your professional experience section where you list accomplishments or in other sections such as professional associations that you belong to, volunteer activities that you have participated in, or professional development opportunities that you have taken.

Leadership Abilities

Showing initiative outside your everyday work is important information to highlight in your resume. Employers are impressed by candidates that are proven leaders. And that does not mean that you have to be president of every organization you participate in, but having a leadership position helps and will dismiss the thought that you are joining organizations just to “pad” your resume. Assuming leadership positions with organizations shows that you are concerned with more than just work and your involvement is a win-win for the employer because you can develop soft skills like communication, negotiation, and team work; skills that are important and very useful in the workplace.

So, in addition to focusing in on writing compelling and relevant accomplishments, don’t forget about these three important sections of your resume, qualifications, core competencies, and leadership abilities. They could just be what you need to distinguish yourself as the best candidate for that next great opportunity.

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