How to Have a Killer Resume

That answers the only question readers are asking themselves

I have a confession.I’ve never been a fan of one-size-fits-all…With the exception of the poncho that I permanently borrowed from our daughter. Since ponchos are blankets with a hole in the center, the honest answer to, “Does this look good, honey?” is “Well, it doesn’t look bad”. Because if something is trying to fit the most people it can, it usually results in a mediocre, middle of the road result.But, When It Comes to ResumesYou have limited time, resources and frankly, patience for creating a resume that stands out from the crowd. Which is why most people use the same resume in their job search.And, that can lead to ho-hum results.Let’s talk basics.The Bottom LineWhether you decide to have one resume or make some adjustments based on the position description, that’s up to you.Three mediocre resumes isn’t more effective than one mediocre resume.I don’t want to convince you one way or the other.I’d rather ask you a question:What is the Purpose of Your Resume? Whether you have one killer resume or an array of resumes that require a strict naming convention, it’s paramount to your success to understand this job search truth:Decision makers are only asking themselves ONE QUESTION:Will this person solve the problem I have?That’s it.And, your resume has ONE JOB:Get the person reviewing it to be interested enough to want to know more about how you can solve their problem.Do you need more than one resume?In my experience, the answer is, it depends.The more clear you are on what you want to do NEXT – which is very different from explaining what you already did – the less likely it is that you need more than one resume.Hence, resume rewrites abound because this is hard, internal work. Time-tested GuidelinesBelow are a few time-tested guidelines that can go a long way to creating that one or multiple killer resume(s).1.     Skip the “2 pages” RuleIf you are a leader, executive or professional with more than 10 years of experience, skip the “only 2 pages rule”.It’s dated advice.NO recruiter anywhere has NOT called someone because their resume was 3 pages instead of 2.Content>LengthThat brings us to #2:2.     Outcomes focused ContentHaving looked at gobs of resumes over the years, very few of them are written in outcome language.·       Instead of: I have Advanced knowledge of leading-edge solutions in the area of organizational transformation.·       Try:  I have led 3 high-profile organizational transformation projects in the last 3 years which led to a 10% increase in employee engagement, 15% decrease in turnover and a newly adopted succession planning process.Bottom line: Show me, don’t tell me.And,3.     Make it Easy to ReadRecruiters are busy.Decision makers and hiring managers are busy.The fancy graphics and testimonials and strengths overview are nice, and completely unnecessary.Should you do it? Sure, if it is an authentic expression of you.Do you have to do it? Nope.Those things fit comfortably in the nice-to-have category.Do you know what’s in the must-have category?Your resume must be easy to read.You can use a normal size font (a too small font is often used to keep within the 2 pages rule)Use of white space (no one wants to struggle to read the resume)And, because being better is leverage…4.     Provide Employer ContextTwo or three sentences about your employers so that the reader has context for all of your great work.Just don’t let your resume(s) be a ponchothat leaves people thinking, “well, it’s not bad”.Use these guidelines to put you on the path to a building a killer resume or resumes. You’re not mediocre, and your resume(s) shouldn’t be either.Get out there.You’ve got this.