Researching how to build a resume can take countless hours for someone who has never written one before. And once you have a first draft that you are proud of, you might still hesitate to send it out if you are unsure that it will do enough to get you noticed. Alice Rush, certified career counselor at University of Phoenix, knows what it takes for a resume to catch the eye of the right person. Rush has over 20 years of experience advising students on how to get their resumes noticed. Here are her strategies for getting your resume noticed.
What’s essential to your future boss?
Rush firmly believes that “the most important step to writing a resume is to focus on what’s important to your future boss.” If the job applicant does not know what is most important to the hiring manager, then Rush believes that they “won’t be able to write a resume that stands out.”
To know what is essential for a prospective employer, you will first need to learn more about them. Review the job description and jot down any information you have about the team you would work with, who you might report to and who oversees the hiring manager. You should also explore the organization’s website to understand what a typical workday looks like for someone in a similar role. With this, you can try to draw parallels between the day-to-day responsibilities for your future boss and your own work experience. Then be sure to share how you can support those efforts when describing your previous positions.
What does your future employer want from you?
Having a deep understanding of what an employer is looking for can help you tailor your resume for a prospective job. Make sure you closely examine the job description against the type of work you want to do. If it is more important to you to work at a specific company rather than to have a specific role, study job descriptions for someone with your academic and professional background..
Your next step is to identify the key responsibilities and skills that qualify someone to fill these roles. Be sure to take note of specific keywords that explain these responsibilities and skills. Most recruiters use document-scanning software or applicant tracking systems (ATS) that collect resumes and automatically search them for matches based on keywords. This can help recruiters narrow down a large number of applications into a handful of qualified candidates. While that method is efficient, it can work against you if you do not use the right keywords.
The last step empowers you to align your experience to the job description. Your resume should highlight as many shared experiences and projects as possible that align with the job listing.
How should my resume demonstrate that I am a good fit for the job description?
Of course, using a professional format and knowing best practices for resume design can help you get further in a job search. However, including examples and measurable results in your resume can remove doubt about your potential to succeed with an organization. Think about your professional background and the experiences that defined your previous roles and responsibilities. Not all experiences are created equal, but when you present your background in a data-driven format, you may stand out from the crowd.
When reflecting on your most significant professional experiences, consider how your peers measured your performance and what metrics they used to define you as a top performer. Drawing attention to numbers and figures paints a picture about your work style. This can also help put your personality traits into the context of your professional contributions.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix offers over 100 online programs that prepare students for over 300 professional occupations. A robust online learning framework empowers adult students and non-traditional learners to complete their certificate or degree program on their chosen terms.