1. Use Active Verbs.
Active verbs are action-oriented words that make enhance the impact of your resume and showcase a particular skill or personality trait more clearly and specifically than other words. Choice of right active verbs can also help you project the right skill set that is required for your target job.
For example, consider the sentence:
Helped the business head in a survey on employee satisfaction for all 600 employees
Instead of the word ‘Helped’, which portrays an act of subordination, we can use the word `‘Collaborated’, which changes it to an act of teamwork and equal participation.
Collaborated with business head for satisfaction survey of 600 employees
You can search the internet for a list of active verbs. Some of the lists are even grouped by the skill type that portray.
2. Use Specifics – Numbers and Comparisons
Numbers are unambiguous, absolute and sure. And as such, putting more numbers adds to the impact factor of the resume. Observe and assimilate through the following example:
Led multiple customer engagements resulting in a huge rise in customers enrolled.
Led 30 customer engagement events resulting in a 20% expansion of customer base in one year.
Impressive, isn’t it? But wait till we make it even more impressive by adding comparisons.
Led 30 customer engagement events resulting in a 20% expansion of customer base YOY as against the company average of 16%.
And now it is clear from the bullet that the candidate has outperformed his company’s average performance.
By adding numbers and comparisons, you have turned into a simple responsibility statement into an achievement.
3. The Challenge – Action – Results (CAR) Framework
Now let’s see how to structure the content of a resume bullet. I highly advice use of the Challenge – Action – Results framework. Not only does it make the resume making a fun activity, it also helps you recite a story to the recruiter instead of giving a boring account of event.
I generally make a table like the one below for each of my stints and then go on filling it thinking of the major challenges faced during the job and how I resolved them.
|Low sales, demotivated distributors||– Redesigned incentives to be extremely performance driven
– Trained distributor workforce for competitive selling
|Sales increased by 90% in 2 years
Lets see how to put that in the form of a bullet:
Transformed an underperforming sales area by redesigning incentive plan with a performance driven approach and training distributor workforce for competitive selling; grew sales by 90% in 2 years
Now, that looks like something the recruiter would love to discuss upon, doesn’t it?
4. Keywords from the JD
Now that you have formed your bullets, all that is left is checking the content with respect to your target job description. Remember, how we learnt in the first article of this series to find out keywords that are important for the job.
Now you have to make sure that you have used most of them at some place in the resume. You must not overdo this job though, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software are intelligent enough to find the right ratio of relevant keywords that can be present naturally in a resume.
Even if your resume passes through the ATS just by keywords, it won’t stand the human evaluation. So, use this technique wisely.
Some of you may have a wild thought of pasting all the keywords in a white font into the resume. I strongly advise against it. Instead, find the right context and replace your words with the target words where they can come naturally.
I hope the article was helpful for your resume making. I wish you all the best for your job hunt.