Anatomy of a killer resume
Your resume is a body of work. It’s got a head, a body, and perhaps a footer. Hopefully you don’t make an a$$ of yourself when the parts are pieced together. The resume vitals are obvious, you’ve got to list your name and experience. But in what order? Should you include an objective or summary? Where should you list your education?
To help you piece the body of this important document together, let’s dissect the anatomy of a killer resume. So you don’t get slaughtered when applying for work, the parts of a “not so killer resume” are also covered.
To help you land a job interview, here is the anatomy of a killer resume:
1. Your Contact Information
The head of your resume should list your contact information. This resume part is straightforward: name, address, telephone number, and an email address. Your resume dies on the hiring manager’s desk if you miss one of these elements.
Listing your name should be a no-brainer. But don’t lose your head because of a bad email address. Many people face the chopping block on this part alone.
BAD Email Addresses
GOOD Email Addresses
Is your answering machine message deadly? When in the market for a job, be sure your answering machine has a respectable message. I’ve called a few job candidates only to hear off-putting messages on their machines. Keep it clean. Keep it simple.
2. Your Objective or Summary (or screw both)
A resume Objective or Summary can help describe the value you bring to a prospective employer and entice a hiring manager to read your resume. A poorly written Objective or Summary can kill your shot at a job interview. Most resume Objective and Summary statements fail to inspire for these reasons:
They are poorly written.
They are not tailored to the position.
They focus on the job seeker.
They fail to match job seeker skills to employer requirements.
So how do you decide between writing a Summary or Objective for your own resume? It’s not complicated. Promise.
Use an Objective if:
You are starting out or entering the workforce.
You are returning to the workforce after an extended absence.
You are changing careers or industries.
Use a Summary if:
You have several years of experience in the sought after position.
You have established qualifications.
You have skills matching employer requirements.
Screw both if:
You don’t want one.
You don’t need one for your industry or job.
You have limited resume room to focus on skills and experience.
As a hiring manager I must be honest, I tend to skip reading these statements and flip to the job seeker’s Skills and Experience. I suppose I skim since most statements are written rotten. If you’re not going to write it right, then screw the statements and use your resume room to focus on what skills and experiences benefit the employer.
Writing it Right: Objectives and Summaries
The vast majority of job seekers write Objectives and Summaries focusing on their career wants and job needs. This is a fatal error. News flash: Your resume isn’t about you. It’s about how you fit the employer’s job requirements. What can you do for the employer? What does an employer gain from hiring you?
Write these statements well by focusing on your relevant experience, keeping it brief, and by removing all personal pronouns (Me, Myself, and I).