Listen to resume pundits with all of the “do this to your resume and get the job!” and you’d think you need to design your resume to land the job for you. Nope. Resumes are designed for one thing and one thing only: to get you an interview. Now, it may be a phone screening interview or it may be a face-to-face interview. But a resume will never, ever get you a job offer.
If the resume should be designed to get you an interview instead of a job, what design should your resume have?
The fundamental purpose of the resume is to show you can do the job you are applying for. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you are not qualified to do a job, why should anyone waste their time interviewing you? They won’t.
Thus, your resume needs to nail the fact that you are qualified to do the job. Now, few resumes will nail every single requirement. But the closer you get to matching the job skills needed in your resume, the more likely you will be getting the interview.
It’s great that you have job skills, but what do you accomplish using them? If your resume shows all sorts of job skills with no results from using them, you are simply a well-trained person who can’t get anything done.
Hiring managers want people who produce results. Make sure your resume shows your results.
Do you think every company out there is perfect? Well, pull aside the green curtain and you will see the wizards of companies are in desperate need of people who can understand and solve problems. Thinks about it: what is work today outside of continuously solving some problem? A process problem. Customer problem. Coworker problem.
Problems are everywhere and hiring managers want people who can solve problems. Show how what you did “helped the business” solve problems.
Hiring managers need people who can communicate well. Business is evolving to ever more complexity, but the need to communicate simplicity in the midst of complexity is paramount.
The way you do that in your resume is write it so that someone not familiar with the work you do can read it and understand the value you bring to the company.
Everyone thinks that leadership is only for managers. Or CEO’s. Or anyone else except themselves. Yet, you have exceptional expertise lying inside you with all those job skills. At some point, your coworkers are going to look at your expertise and expect you to provide leadership in your skill area.
Take your resume and use it to demonstrate how you provide leadership through your work.
Resumes are, in my opinion, the mystical magic where you can go into a hundred different directions and never be “right.” One page resume? How about a five page resume? Chronological or functional? It depends on which resume “expert” you ask. And on which day and which situation.
Instead of diving into the resume weeds, use these resume attributes to get some perspective on what your resume needs to actually say. It’s how you get the interview.
Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations. In 2005, Scot started sharing these hard lessons at CubeRules.com, a site devoted to Career Advice for knowledge workers, whom he calls Cubicle Warriors.