If your resume content and design has landed you a job interview, you are definitely on the right path! Writing impressive targeted accomplishments within the content of your resume using a modern resume design has paid off!
Your next big hurdle is the job interview phase.
Though this may seem like a frightening endeavor, it doesn’t need to be. The greatest resource you can employ to help you nail your job interview is your resume content. If you are just starting out on the job application process, let this point be a very good one to remember:
If you design your resume properly, you will not only receive a request for an interview from a hiring company, you will excel during your job interview.
How do I develop my resume content to help me during other phases of the job application process?
Your resume content should contain professional achievements, hard skill sets, and areas of expertise that not only make you a qualified job candidate, but also set you apart from your competition.
The first area I want to focus on is job-related accomplishments. These are solid proof that you are able to execute your duties very well, while either saving the company money, landing new clients, or increasing revenue. Your achievements may include things like:
1. Increased sales by 20%.
2. Decreased company spending by 35%.
3. Boosted client recruitment by 23%.
Those points are impressive, but let’s make them sound even better!
We have the facts, but we need to include HOW and WHEN.
1. Increased sales by 20% over the first quarter by actively pursuing new accounts and forging positive relationships with key clients.
2. Decreased company spending by 35% by sourcing new sub-contractors and suppliers, while still ensuring high-quality products and service.
3. Boosted client recruitment rates by 23% from 2015 to 2016 by analyzing demographics and launching a new marketing campaign that was targeted toward the correct population.
Now you’re wondering, “How do I come up with these work/career achievements?”
• First, you want to select professional accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are applying for. The positions do not have to be exactly the same but require some of the same skill sets and abilities.
• It’s crucial that your achievements be put into context; hence the “improved” list I have provided you with above. The reader is able to understand what you did, how you did it, and over what time span it occurred.
• Use as many facts or figures as possible. When you provide a hiring manager with figures or percentages, you are providing him/her with concrete and tangible numbers, instead of a vague description.
• Employ the C.A.R. acronym. C.A.R. stands for Challenge, Action, and Result.
o What was the Challenge, problem, or task you were faced with?
o What Action did you take to remedy it?
o What was the Result?
So how can this resume content help me during my job interview?
If you have your job accomplishments memorized, you will be set to answer many questions that might be thrown your way – this is particularly true for a Behavioral Descriptive Interview (BDI). In this type of interview, the interviewer will say, “Tell me about a time when you had to do X.” X could represent a number of things: collaborated in a team, solved an almost impossible problem, dealt with a moral issue, demonstrated creativity or thinking skills, and so forth.
You can use C.A.R., as well as your examples, to answer these questions with ease. Try to work a relevant core competency into your example, which is once again concretely demonstrating your abilities to perform the position available. A core competency would be any hard skill needed to do the available job.
Next, let’s talk about hard skills sets and areas of expertise to include in your resume content!
When writing your resume, you will want to focus on and incorporate your hard skill sets. Hard skills are those that apply specifically to your job or professional characteristics. For instance, if you are looking for a job in sales and marketing, hard skills may include:
Global Economy Penetration
Print and Social Media
Soft skills, which are also important, are things like:
and so forth
Non-tangible skills, aka soft skill sets, can be incorporated into the profile of your resume and throughout your cover letter.
Hard skill sets should be highlighted in your resume profile, within your professional achievements, and in a separate section entitled, “Areas of Expertise” or “Core Competencies”.
In this section, you will want to choose about 8-12 areas of expertise or skills that make you an excellent job candidate. They may be represented in list format or as a table. Areas of expertise should be on the first page of your resume, after your introductory paragraph or professional profile, so readers are able to hone in on them right away.
This section should incorporate hard skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for but may include additional traits, which are desirable to a company and demonstrate your versatility. For instance, if we use the sales and marketing example above, you will want to include the hard skills I’ve mentioned already (Brand Design, Budget Development, Global Economy Penetration, Print and Social Media) – only if they truly apply to you of course – and then incorporate other competencies that you want to showcase, such as Interdepartmental Relations, Staff Recruiting, Streamlining Operations, and so forth.
How can hard skills and core competencies help me during my job interview?
During a job interview, you will be required to list and/or demonstrate your greatest strengths and skills that make you the best candidate for the job. If you are not asked outright for these talents, i.e. such as during a BDI, make sure you slip them in as much as possible. You need to sell you!
Need help writing your resume content to generate interviews? How about some interview preparation to help you really shine?