Your Resume: Your Career Passport

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

   click to return to Index

Your Resume: Your Career Passport
As published in The Flightpath News - November 20, 2002
By Kevin T. Buckley, CPC

Your Resume: Your Career Passport

Is your resume an effective ambassador to open doors of opportunity for you or is it obstructing your progress? Resumes are the most important job-search tool, yet surprisingly, employers and recruiters often see little attention being paid to resume structure and content.

Take a good look at your resume. Does it represent you well? Is it an interesting record of achievements or just a list of present and past job descriptions? You need to ensure that hiring managers and their assistants can quickly identify your skills and qualifications and bring you forward for follow up. You must make it easy for AAT software -- Automated Applicant Tracking -- to read and classify your qualifications when you submit on-line.

As a self-marketing tool it must capture reader-interest within the top-third of the document and also assist AAT software in marking you for review. As an interviewing resource it serves as talking points to highlight your skills, qualifications and experience. As a quick-reference guide to your accomplishments it should record your achievements in order of importance and relevance.

Include your home email address under your telephone number for easy reference. Some employers won't call a home telephone number but will send an email if there is one noted.

Next, create a Skills Summary section instead of the standard Job Objective to note as many of your skills and qualifications as you can. Avoid making bland statements. Every word counts here. Most people are looking for progress and advancement. What are the keywords that identify what you know and have experience with? Be very concise. Think in terms of nouns not action verbs in describing your experience. Instead of writing, "managed the sales force", write "Sales Manager". Instead of writing, "looking to join a company where I can best use my talents and skills", list those skills: Management, Logistics, Operations, Air Cargo, Exports, Imports, Administration, and so on. These keywords will be picked up by both human and cyber resume readers. Capture the reader's attention in the first few seconds and you increase the chance of being contacted for an interview.

Don't just write your job duties under Business Experience. Write five to seven points for each position held, stressing improvements made, new business or profits generated, new products/services launched, cost-savings realized, customers served, developed or retained, new and innovative solutions created. How did you create value for your employer? These are your key selling points and should reflect the keywords in your Skills Summary section. Note your working experience with the most recent job first. Edit and then re-edit the Business Experience points until you have a document that is focused on your contributions.

Structure your resume in terms of strength, putting the strongest section first. If your education isn't strong, put that section after your Business Experience. Under Education, list your accomplishments with the most recent first. Note the year that you graduated or completed certain training programs or seminars.

Insert your cover letter text as part of your email message rather than as a separate attachment accompanying your resume. Opening two documents instead of one is time-consuming. Save your document with your first and last name in the filename. This makes your document easy to identify. You could note in abbreviated form the position you are applying to in the filename too. Anything that saves the reader time and identifies you quickly is a plus.

Take the time to create a streamlined and focused career document. Your resume is your passport to a new future. Make sure yours can take you where you want to go. 

Bookmark and Share

Back to Top