One Valentine’s Day tradition is to spell out a partner’s name and use each letter to assign a loving trait to the partner (for example, E-V-E stands for Eager, Virtuous, Excellent).
Okay, it is silly, but today I want to see how that Valentine’s tradition works out for resumes.
R stands for respectful—enough respect for yourself to tell the truth on your resume and enough respect for the job you are applying for to make sure you have the skills, education, and accomplishments that the employer is looking for.
E stands for energized—a commitment to the job search that begins with the brag book you are keeping right now (yes?) to track your accomplishments before you forget them. It is also the energy to continue sending out resumes even if you think a job offer is certain; you never know what will happen between a stellar interview and a written job offer.
S stands for strategic—you need to know the position, industry, and company you are targeting so that your resume is strategically focused and you are prepared to ask intelligent questions (and give intelligent answers) during the interview.
U stands for uniform—the format, message, spelling, and grammar of your resume must be uniform from start to finish. If you change from bold headings to italic, if you waffle between a leadership and staff position, if you spell startup in one place and start-up in another, and if you randomly leave off periods at the ends of sentences, you are showing inconsistencies and a lack of attention that may undermine your resume.
M stands for modern—today’s hiring managers and recruiters often see a resume only after it is chosen by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You must have a resume that is formatted and written to satisfy the ATS—and consider having a separate resume for networking for jobs. You must also be aware of social media. Hiring managers and recruiters will look online to catch any discrepancies with the professional image your resume presents. In fact, many hiring managers and recruiters will search for candidates online before a resume ever hits their desk. The vast majority will research you online and conduct an extensive background search before they officially hire you.
E stands for engaging—your resume should be written in everyday English, with active verbs and clearly explained accomplishments that keep the interest of hiring managers and recruiters. Avoid too many acronyms and make sure that technical information is described in the context of accomplishments so that even nontechnical readers get a sense of your strengths. Be as specific as possible: “ranked 3 out of 44 salespeople” is more memorable than “top rated salesperson.”
Is your resume respectful, energized, strategic, uniform, modern, and engaging? I help job seekers every day to reach those goals for their resumes. Contact me today—and happy Valentine’s Day!