As I started to explore my career path and job search, like most other graduates are doing, I have encountered the struggle of creating the “great resume” despite my recruitment experience. It doesn’t matter if you hear about a job through your network or saw it online, you will need a great resume to showcase your experience, abilities and skills to your potential employers.
I began meeting HR professionals, attending different career planning workshops, reading recommended books and following different groups to gain some tips on job search and resume writing. This is where the interesting issue of “how to write a great and effective resume” began and a couple of questions came up. What is a great resume? What do HR professionals look for?
To begin, I have to say I really appreciate all the suggestions and tips given to me by people I’ve met and books I’ve read. I can’t begin to thank them enough for their time, advice and feedback. It’s just I’m really curious what is the general consent out there in regards to resume writing. I am pretty sure there are other job seekers encountering the same issue and struggling with creating a great resume.
Upon attending some workshops and readings, I learned that my resume needed a lot of revamping, which I was prepared for. I began my process of editing, which took weeks as I heard that my resume looked a bit like it was from a template. I was suggested to not use full sentences in my profile section of my resume, as recruiters and hiring individuals don’t have time to read sentences because they have to go through so many resumes. This makes sense. Instead, it was suggested to me to put key accomplishment statements in bullet forms under my profile section. All of my accomplishment statements need to identify the tasks along with answering the question “so what?” Ideally, if there are quantifiable figures, write them down. Sounds simple? Well, that is definitely not the case. As I also need to ensure each bullet statement to be as concise as possible; if it takes up more than two lines then it is too long but if it only takes up one line, it is likely missing something, possibly didn’t answer the “so what?”
Then I met other HR professionals who told me to leave some mystery in my accomplishment statements. At different occasions, I was told to leave out some information in my accomplishment statements so it attracts the recruiters and hiring individuals to wonder how those specific accomplishments were achieved. And I was told to write my profile like a brief biography to let recruiters and hiring individuals know who I am.
So now, a few months since I first began my resume editing, I am still in the process of creating a great resume. I guess what I learned through this process is that different HR professionals will look for and expect different things from a resume. There is no real “right” or “wrong” resume (well, to a certain extent); it really depends on the audience that’s reading your resume.
HR professionals and recruiters, do you have any tips for me and other job seekers on what you look for in a resume? What is your perspective of a great resume?