If you are fortunate enough to get honest feedback on your resume, take it, run with it and apply it. This is no time to let your feelings get hurt. It may be good to know and bad to hear feedback but it is likely feedback you need.
Put Your Resume to the Test
- Ask someone who does not understand what you do to review your resume for 15 seconds.
- At the 15 second mark, take your resume away and ask the reviewer to tell you what they learned about you in 15 seconds.
- If the reviewer of your resume cannot tell you who you are, how to communicate with you, how you are educated, how you are certified or credentialed and what you do today, you didn’t build your resume in a way that makes it easy for the human eyeball to visually scan your resume.
- If your resume reviewer didn’t pick up a basic understanding of what you do in 10-15 seconds, it is likely that a recruiter or a hiring authority will have the same experience.
Resume writing is a mix of business writing, technical writing and a little bit of creative writing mixed together. If you are a gifted engineer or a gifted number cruncher, chances are very high that you are not naturally gifted at packaging and marketing yourself in the most effective way.
How to Write a Great Resume
- A great resume will speak to anyone and everyone in your resume’s audience without anyone in the audience having to interpret what they see.
- A great resume can be scanned by an Applicant Tracking System without throwing up roadblocks.
- A great resume can be visually scanned in 10-15 seconds.
- A great resume will not present long paragraphs. It will have white space separating thoughts and ideas.
- Great resumes communicate effectively. Short choppy bullets that do not adequately explain one's accomplishments, contributions and the value they have created in past jobs are ineffective.
- Great resumes don't have to be interpreted. They don't overuse acronyms and abbreviations that others do not understand.
A great resume is written in a Clean, Clear and Logical manner that aligns with the order in which people in the resume's audience need to pick up information to get to know the resume owner.
While your resume is always about you, it is always for someone else. A great resume is always written with the resume’s audience in mind.