Your resume is a marketing tool: it honestly shows you, but it also shows you in the best possible light. Hiring managers and recruiters consider you based on your potential and achievements—and your lack of resume skills might make those difficult for them to understand. Here are 6 important resume questions you should ask yourself before you consider your resume ready to send out:
- What job do I want? If you need to know your career goals because no recruiter or hiring manager will search your resume for clues. You need a clearly written resume to show your qualifications for a specific position in a particular industry or company type.
- How can hiring managers and recruiters contact me? If a hiring manager or recruiter can’t reach you, they will not hire you. Set up a professional email address dedicated to your job search so that emails do not get lost in the shuffle—Gmail or Outlook accounts are acceptable. Avoid Yahoo accounts since they are now paid or have advertising attached to them. Double and triple check your contact information on your resume. It is easy to transpose numbers.
- Whom have I worked for and when? Your resume must present the names of the companies you worked for and your dates of employment. However, a line about the company’s size and purpose may provide the context that hiring managers and recruiters need to understand your achievements if relevant and the company is not known. Leading a team in an international manufacturing company with $10 billion in revenue is quite different from leading a local software startup team.
- What do I bring to the table? You are competing for each job against people who have likely performed the same tasks and have the same skills. What have you achieved and what goals have you met that set you apart? What makes you proud?
- What have the people I work with said about me? Maybe a sentence from an annual review or a customer letter is worth quoting in your resume. Those words may also give you important clues for writing your profile. Whether or not you have written praise, here is another critical resume question you should ask yourself: what do people expect when they come to me and why do internal or external customers seek me out?
- What are hiring managers and recruiters looking for? Search job postings and examine the profiles of others in your field to discover what key words crop up repeatedly. These are the keywords that should appear in your resume to reassure hiring managers and recruiters that you honestly have the skills, education, and other job requirements.
Finally, if you have difficulty answering any of these questions, ask yourself whom you would go to for resume writing and career advice? If you answer Robin’s Resumes®, you are well on your way to a successful job search.