Jehane Eliana November 28, 2020 Resume
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
Avoid Flowery Language That Diminishes Your Achievements – You could have a comedy show with some of the statements people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and uncommon vocabulary. Avoid over the top statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call your credibility immediately into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite claims as ”Rocketed performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, ”People don’t speak like that; I have never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could rocket performance to stellar heights. Remember, people hire people they like, so don’t make your resume read like an amateur poet wrote it.”
Show any Training and Education – List any degrees you hold since most employers want to see these. If you have work towards a degree, but are still pursuing or have never finished but you may someday, list it as in progress.
Use Key Words – Computer programmers understand logic and algorithms. Use this to your advantage by applying this approach to your resume. The prescreening process is very methodical. In many cases, these screens are done using logic in software applications especially if you apply online. Additional screenings may be completed by human resources or other non-technical personnel who do not always understand the technologies required for the position for which you are applying but are merely using a checklist for resume screening. Hopefully you are beginning to see why it is so important to use key words on your resume. Let me clarify that, it is so important to use the RIGHT key words on your resume.
Let me share with you a tip related to your technical skills summary based on my review of resumes over the years. After I check the list of skills, my next step is to look further in the resume to identify the specific jobs where that skill was used and determine how much experience a candidate has with the skill. The point is that listing the skill is simply not enough. Truthfully, I’ve found that most candidates never mention the technical skill anywhere else other than in the skill listing. In these cases, I will assume they really don’t have experience with that skill and are just listing it to catch my eye. Therefore, follow through and ensure that the skills you list are also spelled out in your job experience write-ups. Never assume that a resume reviewer will know that you did x, y, or z. More often than not, they do not make those assumptions or they could even be non-technical staff who are just following a checklist to screen the resumes. So, remember, that if an employer lists a technical skill on the IT job posting or ad, make sure it is on your resume in both your technical skills list and experience write-up.
You also want to provide a short listing of relevant technology training courses you have taken. Many candidates forget to list these items out. They can help further demonstrate your expertise and exposure to different technologies, especially for a less experienced candidate. I suggest putting Training last on your resume, just below Education. As an added bonus, listing these technology skill trainings helps add more key words to your resume and improve your results on resume screenings.
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