Randstad Canada HR Blog

Resume Tips: How Hot Is Your Resume?

Posted by Mini Kolluri on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 @ 05:09 PM

Resume services that help you craft the perfect general purpose CV may not be doing you any favours. So make note of these resume tips:

A perfect resume really only exists in tandem with a detailed and specific job description. resume tipsCreating a Swiss army knife type of resume is like trying to cook a great meal by using all the ingredients in your kitchen. You think you’ve created a masterpiece while everyone is reaching for the Pepto Bismol.

If you want to earn an interview, you need a customized message. Here are some resume tips that will help you achieve that.

Think about this from the hiring managers point of view, someone who has been tasked with finding, for example, an experienced sales person for their company.

You, as a candidate, see the ad online for the role and so you respond with your all-purpose resume. Yes, you have tons of sales experience. What more could they want?

Well, how about industry specific experience? Selling an oil and gas product for example does not really translate very well  to a consumer product or a technology solution. The language is bound to be different, specific industry knowledge valuable and being connected to their customer base (knowing the players) could very well make or break your success.

How about the size of the customer? Selling office equipment to large corporations with diverse types of customers, procurement divisions and long sales cycles won’t qualify you to sell kitchen appliances to small business owners.

Size of the sale matters too. If you’ve sold $10 Million aircraft for several years, changing to selling a $500 solution is going to have a steep learning curve.

See what I mean? A sales job is not a sales job is not a sales job. It’s a very specific requirement and most job descriptions will be loaded with clues. A winning resume will speak to that.

A hiring manager will be looking for specific words and phrases in your resume that will move them closer or further away from selecting you. Every word you use that doesn’t match their map of the ideal candidate will move you away from the target. It’s like the Hot/Cold game you played as a kid.

“Getting warmer. Warmer. Getting hot. Burning hot.”

That’s what you want in your resume. Burning hot.

Here’s a simple technique to help you get there.

Read the job description carefully then list the top three requirements. Then rank them.  Now re- build your resume to match the key requirements (only if it’s true of course).

If you’re not mentioning an industry specific hot skill in the first two lines of your resume, you’re missing a great opportunity to sell yourself before the reviewer jumps to the next resume in their Inbox.

And surprise endings are for thrillers, not CV’s. You want your first few paragraphs to clinch the deal. Your experience with those top three skills should be clearly covered and described as quickly as possible. Everything else is just frosting on the cake.

I would take a one paragraph description of how a candidate perfectly matches the top three hot skills over a two page cover letter any day of the week. And most hiring managers will too.

By Russ Smith, Branch Manager, Randstad Technologies

Tags: Russ Smith