You know the basics of what goes into a resume but what separates a good resume from a great one? How do you make potential employers sit up and take notice when they read yours? Sometimes it isn’t what you say but how you say it. Finding the right way to get your point across can make all the difference. Let’s look at some examples.
Use Headings That Match the Job You Are Applying For
Most H/R people skim the dozens or hundreds of resumes they get. You may have only scant seconds to catch their eye. If you are applying for a position as an Accounts Receivable Manager, don’t list your skills as “Accounting/Recordkeeping, Management, Computer Skills.” Instead, make your resume pop by changing those headings to “Management of A/R and A/P Accounts, Computerized Accounting Applications, Departmental Administration / Recordkeeping.” Those headings are more in line with the position you are applying for and show the employer that you have exactly the skills they are looking for.
It’s All in the Details
Your resume should include some description of what you have accomplished and indicate what you are capable of. Using the same accounting example, let’s say your original resume says this: Maintained financial records for accounts receivable and accounts payable departments. While that does say what you did, it doesn’t really give any indication of the importance or magnitude of what you did. Another approach might be this: Managed over 10,000 accounts, both receivable and payable reporting directly to the Chief Financial Officer.
The difference in these two statements is amazing. It reveals the volume you are capable of handling and indicates your level of respect and trustworthiness by showing the reporting structure you were able to achieve.
Use the Job Ad to Find Key Words to Use in Your Resume
The job ad is your best tool in building your resume. As carefully as you are constructing your resume, the H/R people have poured over the job ad. They want to attract the right candidates and waste as little time and money as possible so that ad represents their very best effort to find you. Identify the key words in the ad. They will be the most important aspects of the job. In the case of the accounting manager position, the ad might say: Seeking experienced A/R Manager to oversee accounts, manage billing and collections, train accounting and clerical staff, develop status reports for management and prepare monthly balance sheets.
You would focus on accounts receivable, manage billing, create and maintain status reports for management, balance sheets. Focus on what they are looking for. Incorporate the same terminology into your resume and show how you can fit those needs.