How To Create an Exceptional Resume

How To Create an Exceptional Resume

1. The planning stage

The first step to writing an exceptional resume, is to do some research about the company that you are applying to and carefully read through the job description. Pay special attention to the job skills that they are looking for. Make a mental note as to whether you have the skills and qualities mentioned in the job description. Do you have enough experience in the appropriate areas to make you an easy choice for hiring?

How To Create an Exceptional Resume

After you have a pretty good idea of what the company is looking for, you can do a contemplative exercise that will aid you in matching your background and proficiencies with the job description and necessary skill set. Write one job responsibility or job description at the top of a page, then start thinking about experiences and/or accomplishments that you have had that relate to that qualification. For instance:

Must have excellent written and verbal communication

Conducted face- to- face sales calls with customers in 6 state region-

John P. Normal Company

Created and negotiated customer discount agreements that made company the primary supplier for two large Pharmaceutical Companies-

John P. Normal Company

Prepared biweekly forecast and prospect lists, forecasting new business coming in-

Paul Smith, Inc.

Looking for a manager to bridge gap between different different company divisions and create a culture of teamwork and accountability

Conducted joint sales calls with Analytical and Biotech sales reps from my company to create bundled product offering to customers-

John P. Normal Company

Won an award for cross sales of company products-

John P. Normal Company

Promoted to senior field sales position after one year-

Paul Smith, Inc.

During the contemplative exercise, it’s not important to phrase everything perfectly. The goal of this exercise is to get the thoughts flowing on how to tailor your resume to be the perfect fit for the job opening. This information will serve as the raw material for your manicured resume. Don’t forget, it is always acceptable to use experiences from volunteer or extracurricular activities in your resume, too.

Recruiters are looking to hire someone that they know can handle the responsibilities and job requirements of the position that they are hiring for. By utilizing the planning stage, you can make sure that your resume is tailored specifically to the job that you want. If your resume does not reflect the main qualifications that the company is looking for, it will not even get a second look by a recruiter.

2. Keep it short and sweet

A shorter resume is far better than a really lengthy resume. This is the problem: You have a lot of information to share, but recruiters don’t have the time to hear it. If a resume is too long, it is very likely that the recruiter will not even bother to read the whole resume before moving on to the next one.

A resume does not need to tell your entire life story. It is meant to be a way to share enough information about your work experience and background to get you hired. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t tell them EVERYTHING.

Think about it like a printed advertisement in a magazine or a billboard. The ad tells you the basics, like for Dawn dish detergent, “it’s tough on grease but easy on your hands”. The advertisements don’t tell you when Dawn was created, the different colors or fragrances that it comes in, all of the stores where Dawn can be purchased, etc. The ad is abbreviated and to the point, only sharing the vital information for the situation, space, and time they have to catch your attention.

This is exactly what your resume should do. You may have a lot of accomplishments, but there is only a limited amount of time to present your message to a recruiter. Decide what you want a recruiter to see and know about you in their fifteen-second scan. Typically, this means that you should focus your emphasis on your most recent and relevant experiences.

If you have fifteen to twenty years of work experience, the recruiter probably doesn’t need to know all of the details of your assistant manager retail job during college. If one of your past jobs is completely irrelevant to the job that you are applying for, it is not necessary to include any bullet points under the title and position. It is not a rule that you are required to share every detail of every job that you have ever had.

For more mature job seekers, you will want to focus the vast majority of your resume to the last ten to fifteen years, unless there is extremely relevant experience that goes further back. The older jobs should still appear on your resume, they should just not contain any bullet points.

Students and recent graduates should think of their resume as a rolling four-year document. That means that seniors in college should not list work history from high school. If you have been working full-time for two years, you will only want to include college internships from junior and senior years. Of course, the exception to this rule would be very relevant work history that goes longer than four years back.

Do not write your resume in complete sentences. Recruiters like to see an outline format, using bullet points that quickly and concisely show your work history. It is key to keep in mind that recruiters are typically reviewing hundreds of resumes, at one time. They are scanning to see if your resume deserves more than the initial fifteen-second glance.

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