En Route: A Career Blog

“I Want My Resume to Pop”

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: April 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

Having worked with clients for more than eleven years, I often hear them state that they want a ‘wow’ factor in their resume. They want it to ‘pop’.

In questioning what they mean, candidates often say that they need their resume to stand out from the scores of others out there. They want their document to make it to the top of the pile.

What You Think You Need in a Resume versus What The Hiring Manager Wants to See

Some believe adjective heavy descriptions are a good thing. Others are certain that a certain format, page length or writing style is exactly what’s needed.

Your Goal is to Please the Hiring Manager, not Yourself

For a hiring manager, a resume that has a wow factor or pops simply means this:

1. The candidate has the exact skills needed for the position.

2. Accomplishments prove the candidate has and will achieve at the new company.

That’s what hiring managers want – core skills and evidence that these skills have been used in the past to enhance the company’s profits by either making it money or saving it money.

Fancy fonts won’t do that. A dazzling template might catch the eye, but if there’s little substance in the data, the hiring authority will move on. Grammatically correct language is a must. Prose that would make Dickens sigh is not.

Your Resume Should Paint You as the Ideal Candidate

A resume is a marketing tool with you as the product. It should prove you have the skills, knowledge, abilities to get the job done and to exceed beyond expectations.

It’s as simple as that.

Don’t waste your time worrying about which font to use. Keep it simple – Arial or Times New Roman. They’re universal and are easy on the eye. Template choice should only matter in that its appearance matches your industry (eg: conservative for banking; more of a flair for a creative), it has an appropriate use of white space and is organized for quick reading. As to page length: A modern resume is as long as it needs to be provided it contains only that information germane to the new job search. Anything that’s not relevant should be excluded.

Follow these guidelines and your background/skills/abilities will wow the hiring manager.

  • Robert G. Simerly

    I have many different types of training, Law Enforcement, Office/Records Management, Fleet Management, Training Coordinator, Emergency Management Liaison. My problem is I don’t have a college degree which you know hurts my resume and chances of getting a good job in todays market. So I really need the qualifications that I have to Stand Out can you help me with this problem. I want to work in the Oil & Gas Field or in the Energy Field. I am more than willing to relocate and to travel. Please let me know if you can review my resume and see what you can do with it.

    ANSWER: Our site offers a resume critique service. CPRWs (Certified Professional Resume Writers) are available for this service. You can find it at this link: http://www.resumeedge.com/professionalresume/se-pro.html

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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