Your resume…your weapon

Your resume…your weapon

Ethan Hunt, I have been following you for 22 years now. You have been getting your next job easily, so you can stop reading right away, should you choose to accept it.

For the others who are job hunting or contemplating it. Read on.

First splash some really cold water on the face. Done that? Good.

Let us get this straight…job hunt… is a hunt….so as a hunter…we need weapons….great weapons….what is the most powerful weapon at our disposal?

Our resume of course (there are other weapons too but I am focusing on the resume here).

Yet, how many of us actually treat our resume as a weapon ?

We treat it more like our wedding dress….carefully wrapped up in some corner, pulled up when needed….dusted and tried on…it may or may not fit ..land up in ill-fitting clothes and you will be the talk of town, for the wrong reasons.

I am listing below, six dimensions, that coincidentally spell RESUME (okay, it is not coincidental). These, I believe, can help you make a weapon of your resume.

Real/Relevant

Keep it real. If you mention “Strategic Planning” as your strength, you better have some achievement(s) around it. Else, it is just a catch word that might want the reader to drop attention from reading your resume further.

Keep it relevant. Customize your resume for the role you are applying for (that takes hard work sure, but then it is a hunt remember?) . Don’t copy and paste your job descriptions into your resume. As a person reading your resume, I know what a Marketing Manager/Business Analyst/Procurement Head does, please tell me why I should hire you.

Exemplify

Everyone loves outcomes so exemplify your achievements. Use situations/data/user stories to drive home the value you delivered. “Initiated and executed process changes resulting in 43% drop in repeat complaints within 3 months” reads better than “Managed customer complaints function”.

Exemplify financial value…everyone loves outcomes, sure….financial outcomes….even more. “Initiated and executed process changes resulting in 43% drop in repeat complaints within 3 months that helped save INR 150k in fee reversals”…now we are talking.

Simplicity

If we love reading simple stuff, then we should write simple stuff. Keep the tone of the resume conversational.

Drop the jargon as much as possible. Your resume is not a landing strip for buzz words that are flying off the internet…it is about THE most buzzing thing …you.

Understandable

Should you want to use jargon, simplify and explain what it means. The person (or a machine) reading your resume many not have insights into what all you know. A “Was among the Top 5 performers in the organization for two years in running” reads better than “Hercules award winner for two years.”

Manageable

Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus is a French novel that reportedly has 1,954,300 words. Not planning to read something that long? Your call…but please keep your resume short….two pages…max three.

Elegance

Spell check is so simple…right click and the right spelling appears.

Spell check is not the end of the game. “Eye knead knot say moor”….type this and MS Word will happily lap it up. Check for grammar and sentence construction. Proof read….get a fresh pair of eyes to read your resume, every time you edit it.

I hope these dimensions were helpful. I am sure there are many more. Feel free to add them in the comments.

Sharpen that weapon….your resume…all the best for your job hunt.

P.S

I have been getting a fair number of resumes over the past few months from people who are looking for new roles. They are people from various levels of experience and diverse industries. I do share the profiles within my circle whenever I see something relevant.

Some observations in the resumes I read prompted me to write this article.