Putting your Best Foot Forward on your Resume
So if you’ve been following us for quite some time, then you will already be aware of the fact that you should never use a functional resume and always stick with the chronological-style resume. The question becomes, what is the best way to present the facts to an employer that will set you apart from your competition?
There is no one answer to this question, as recruiters differ and so do companies, but there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you shine, no matter what industry you are applying for.
First, let’s start with our evidence, shall we? Every good court case requires evidence, so you need to make sure that you list the name of the employer, what your position was and how long you were there for. The problem is that most people start their resume with this information, which is what everyone else does. So let’s leave our evidence for halfway through our resume and focus on what the employer really wants (even over education most of the time) and that is experience.
While you should never use a career objective, you should be able to highlight the peaks in your career and what you accomplished throughout your employment history. If you were the residential sales manager for a company and you managed to increase sales, don’t just write that.
You need something ‘punchy’ like “Increased sales in the first quarter by 50 percent through retraining of the sales force and by adding a comprehensive incentive program.” If you are only working with the bare minimum, then you are doing yourself a disservice. If you sell yourself short, who is going to pump you up?
Companies like initiative, so it should be painted all over your resume like it was going out of style. Did you organize and execute the annual safety fair and bring out record numbers? How about overseeing the renovation of a new office space or negotiating some serious discounts through vendors? While some people think that all of these things are just a part of their job, the truth is that these small gestures are what sets you apart from everyone else.
Think about it, would you rather hire someone who listed their skills as “excellent negotiating skills and good relationships with vendors” or someone who boasts “was responsible for saving the company more than $3,500 per year in office supplies due to superior negotiating skills and solid, established relationships with local suppliers”? Personally, I would prefer the person who is going to show me what he/she is going to do for me as opposed to the person who is only going to tell me about it.
Have you been presented with any awards in the workplace? Even if it is only something like “employee of the month” at a fast food chain, it demonstrates that you went over and above the call of duty in the best interests of the company. When you stick out, you get noticed, and isn’t that the purpose of your resume?