What are employers looking for in resumes for 2014? The most critical factor is results – what have you accomplished that meets the hiring needs of the company? It’s not enough to be qualified for the job. Rather, you need to clearly show the hiring manager why you are qualified.
Results, Results, Results
Employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate that they have added value in prior jobs or internships. Focus on accomplishments rather than duties or responsibilities. A list of what you did isn’t going to help you get interviews. What you achieved will.
In order to get that information to the hiring manager, think about the bottom line for the various roles and jobs which you have held when writing job descriptions. The bottom line could be dollars saved, funds raised, staff recruited, increased productivity, sales generated, improvement in student test scores, product innovations, etc.
Be sure to state how your efforts impacted the bottom line and quantify the results whenever possible.
It’s important to take the time to customize your resume for each job you apply for. Carefully review the requirements in the job posting. Be sure to reference as many of the qualifications as possible in your descriptions.
An easy way to do that is to make a list of the job requirements. Then make a list of your qualifications. Match your qualifications to the requirements and include the most relevant and quantifiable at the top of each job description on your resume.
Take the time to include keywords that match the job requirements in your resume. If the job posting lists skills, be sure to include the ones that are listed if you have them. Those keywords will help your resume get selected by the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many employers use.
Summaries vs. Objectives
Recruiters now prefer a compelling summary of how you will excel in their job or a branding statement at the top your resume instead of an objective. Keep in mind that summaries can be door openers or door closers if they don't make a specific case regarding how you are qualified for your target job. If you do use an objective, clearly reference your qualifications for the job.
Or, you can use a combination of a headline and a profile or summary.
Here are options for the top section of your resume:
- Branding Statement – A short, catchy statement that highlights your most relevant expertise in about 15 words or fewer.
- Objective – Short synopsis of your employment goals as they relate to the job you’re applying for.
- Headline – Phrase that highlights your value as a candidate.
- Profile – Brief summary (paragraph) of your skills and qualifications for the position.
- Career Summary – Lists your key achievements, skills, and experience.
Resumes should be only 1 - 2 pages in length, depending on how much experience you have. A Word document which can be easily printed and/or shared by decision makers for input will be required for most job applications.
Back Up Your Credentials
In order to best showcase your accomplishments, your documents should contain links to portfolio samples and recommendations. These materials can include relevant work products and the positive perceptions of others including co-workers, bosses and clients.
Your resume links can provide additional detail without bogging down recruiters with an overly lengthy resume. Providing a gateway in your documents to sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Prezi provides a way to provide the proof in multimedia form, which can help convince employers that you are worth interviewing.
Before you start writing, take a look at examples of resumes including a variety of different types and styles to get ideas for your own resume.
- Sample Resumes
- Resume Examples A - Z
- Resume Examples Listed by Career Level
- Resume Examples Listed by Style
- Resume Types: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted
- Resume Examples Listed by Profession