When applying for a job, your resume can determine whether hiring managers notice you. Employers can receive 50 to 100 resumes, depending on the position. And with a large response, you only have one opportunity to "wow" the person reading your resume. This can be the difference between an interview and a job applicant rejection letter.
Experienced job seekers know the value of listing a career objective, experience, education and references on a resume. But it isn't enough to simply type this information on paper. You need to stand out -- in other words, you need to make your resume ROAR.
ROAR stands for results oriented and relevant. Most people know how to create a basic job resume, but they don't know how to craft a killer one. The resume shouldn't focus on each individual task performed on previous jobs. When you apply for a job and list past positions, the employer already knows your general responsibilities. For example, if you worked as a secretary, you don't need to mention on your resume that you answered phones, provided customer service and completed other general office duties -- again, hiring managers already knows this.
To make your resume ROAR, you need to take it a step further and focus on your achievements or accomplishments while working for other companies. Tell the employer something that he or she doesn't know -- something that will leave a lasting impression.
Here's a look at three simple ways to make your resume ROAR.
#1 Eliminate All Task Oriented Statements From Resume
Review your resume. Under the "experience" or "work history" where you list job duties for each position you've held in the past, delete all information that sounds like a job description from a job ad. For example:
- "Answered phones and provided customer support".
- "Assisted marketing department with filing".
These statements might describe your daily duties, but they don't give evidence of your abilities or strengths to employers.
#2 Brainstorm Major Accomplishments or Achievements for Each Position Held
Now that you've removed all task oriented information from your resume, make a list of all your accomplishments for each position listed under "experience." Take your time. The more achievements and accomplishments you include on your resume, the better your chances of getting an interview. Include statistics and percentages, if possible. Basically, you'll expand on your ordinary duties and show employers what you're capable of. Result oriented statements on a resume might include:
- "Achieved the "Top Performance" salesperson award for three consecutive months".
- "Promoted to a senior account executive after 12 months of being hired by the company".
- "Increased company revenue by 25% within the first year of employment".
- "Implemented an HR program to monitor and improve workplace performance".
Do you notice the difference? Task oriented statements simply list job duties and provide nothing more, whereas result oriented statements give employers a snapshot of your abilities, helping them assess how you'll benefit their organization.
#3 Make Your Resume Relevant
After revamping your "experience" section with result oriented descriptions, you'll need to make your resume relevant to each employer. Some job applicants mistakenly create a cookie-cutter career objective. However, employers can easily detect these, and generic statements don't leave a strong first impression.
To make your resume relevant, determine the position you're applying for, and then create a statement that explains how your skills, education and accomplishments make you the best person for this job. This statement should not be boring, such as: "Seeking an entry-level customer service opportunity." Use information from your "experience" section, but don't repeat verbatim. A good example of a relevant career objective:
"Hard-working customer service representative with 10+ years experience. I am eager to apply my experience as a top-performing customer service rep and team leader, and provide your organisation with the highest level of customer support in the industry".
This statement works because it addresses what employers want to hear in three lines -- who you are, your experience, your achievements and what you can do for the company.
It takes time to craft and tailor a strong resume for each employer, but it's worth the effort. Don't let a bad resume ruin your chance of getting an interview, and ultimately the job. It's your turn: How do you make your resume ROAR?