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In Creating an Effective Resume, author Mariann Siegert provides step-by-step guidance on creating resumes that highlight accomplishments and specifically target a potential employer's needs. The course covers how to build a resume that encompasses action statements, keywords, styling, and effective content, while addressing common stumbling blocks such as handling employment gaps and career changes. Framing the resume as a vital component of a personalized marketing campaign, Mariann shows how to conduct employer research and utilize keyword optimization techniques to increase a resume's potential of being found by employers and recruiters on resume banks and job sites. Also included are tips on writing cover letters and thank-you notes. Exercise files accompany the course.
You have approximately ten seconds to catch the attention of a hiring manager before your resume is screened out. Because of this, the information you place at the top of your resume can either make you or break you. But a powerful and persuasive qualifications summary can capture and captivate the reader's attention in those precious ten seconds and entice them to read further. In a survey of over 600 hiring managers, an overwhelming majority stated that the most important part of the resume is a qualification summary-- yes, the most important part! That's a pretty powerful statement. And get this: the survey also conveyed that only 5% of the resumes they've received included one.
Just think how that can improve your chances over the rest of the candidates by simply using this tool. A qualifications summary is your marquee, so to speak. It's a synopsis of your topmost professional skills and experience, your abilities and your talents and credentials, your achievements and your accomplishments, any quantifiable results such as dollar amounts that you can include, or percentages, your education, your personal characteristics, or anything that makes you the most qualified for the job.
Your qualifications summary should convey your top qualifications that define you as an exceptional performer in your field by using three to five impactful sentences or three to five bullet points. Or you can even use a combination of both by writing a qualification paragraph statement directly followed by a few bullet points. So how do you write a qualifications summary? First and foremost, think like an advertising copywriter. You must know what the consumer wants in order to know how to best to sell the product.
The product in this case of course is you. Do your homework and thoroughly research the employer and the requirements of the job at hand. The closer you can match your skills to the job, the better you can target your resume and prove that you are the best fit for this position. I've seen many people struggle with knowing what their true sellable skills are. Ask ex-supervisors and co-workers what they think your top abilities skills and accomplishments are. Then ask family and friends what they feel are your most outstanding personal attributes.
They may give you a completely different list of qualities that you would never even thought of yourself. Be careful of asking present coworkers and supervisors for their input. This may lead to you needing a job sooner than you think. Instead, look through your past evaluations and see where you've made above average scores. Ask yourself these types of questions by filling in the blanks under the Qualifications Summary section of the Career Management worksheet that comes with this course.
What makes you specifically qualified for this particular position? What are you most proud of that you've done in your career? How have you been recognized by winning special awards, commendations, or honors during your career? If you've recently graduated, did you receive any scholarships or academic awards? Have you assisted in increasing the company's bottom line, saved the company time, or increased productivity. What do you do better than others in your industry, and how do you do it better? What suggestions have you made that were implemented? What are your strongest strengths? How many years of experience do you have in your career or your industry, and what makes you stand out from the crowd? Now it's time to pull it all together.
Begin writing a list of your top five marketable credentials based on your research. Remember, your qualifications summary is the core of your resume and is what can really make it come alive and sparkle. Sprinkle keywords throughout your summary and speaking of sprinkling, don't forget to include your action verbs. You may center creating one main resume targeted to your career. This will be the resume you can post to resume banks. You can use your main resume as a template for creating your targeted resumes for each particular position that you are applying for.
You may need to change the qualification summary slightly according to the decision that you're targeting. Be sure to save each under a different file name; perhaps name each targeted resume by the name of the company that you're applying for. You'll need to bring it to the interview with you. Take your time. Your qualifications summary is your resume's marquee and can really make you stand out from the crowd by showcasing your most impressive attributes.
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