The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “Q” is for QUESTION

Q: The one QUESTION your resume must answer.

Your resume should communicate to potential employers three main things: your skills, your education, and your experience as it relates to the position that you are applying for. Your goal? To get interviews that lead to job offers. Sounds simple, but just how do you go about writing your resume to communicate this information effectively? Sure, there are different resume formats to choose from, with chronological, functional, and hybrid being the most popular and there are general rules of thumb, such as omitting personal information, not using personal pronouns, and targeting the resume to the position. However, once you understand all of this what is next? To generate interviews, your resume must answer one central question.

Why should I hire you?

That is the question. In order to get interviews, employers need to feel confident that you resume answers this question. Initially, your resume will be given a brief scan, so you can’t waste time and space with baseless personality traits or irrelevant information. To answer this question, make sure to write these three sections of your resume well.

Professional profile

Replacing the traditional objective statement, the professional profile highlights your experience, soft skills, and hard skills and establishes your professional brand, which is important because your brand is what makes you unique. The professional profile is essentially your expanded 30-second elevator speech. In it, you need to summarize the relevant highlights from your career, which will set up the remainder of the resume.

Education

For any position, there will be a minimum level of education required. Make sure you have this requirement and communicate it on your resume. If the job requires specific knowledge or certifications, be sure to include these as well. What if you do not possess the minimum educational requirements? In some cases, your work experience can substitute for lack of education. If this describes your situation, pay extra attention to how you formulate you accomplishments. They must be relevant to the position and as specific as possible.

Professional experience

Everything that you write in this section of your resume should support claims made in your professional profile and should be relevant to the position that you are applying for. When writing your position descriptions, keep the job that you are applying for in mind. The same advice applies when you start to consider which accomplishments to include. Write each accomplishment to show how you solved problems similar to what you would encounter in the new position.

So keep these tips in mind as you develop your resume and you will be on step closer to getting the interviews that you want.

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