Even if you're convinced that your current position is nothing special, it's still your stepping stone to an actual career. Some candidates aren't willing to share information about their jobs, believing that recruiters will find it boring and irrelevant. Instead, they craft their resumes to show all there is to know about their charming personality and impressive work ethic, emphasizing their dedication to work and ability to collaborate.
The truth is that your current job and positions you've held before are much more important in the eyes of recruiters. Here's how to describe a job in your resume and make it look like a start of a great career.
Rethink the purpose of a resume
If you ask any job candidate about the purpose of a resume, most of the time you'll get the following answer: it's there to get them a job. This is actually wrong. The main purpose of a resume is not helping you land a job, but getting you an interview. And this should become a major driving force behind crafting your job descriptions – your task is to seem like an interesting professional one would like to meet.
Similarly, many people believe that the purpose of the interview is getting them a job. This is wrong again. The central aim of the interview is to create a connection with the interviewer on a personal level and leave a great impression on them. Only then you'll stand a chance of landing your dream job. Consider that personal connection something you should aspire to both through your resume and interview.
Make it informative
Sometimes the right kind and amount of information can do wonders to your job descriptions on a resume. Take this position as an example: Cashier and Shift Manager at Starbucks in Los Angeles. The most obvious content of such a job entry would be: opened and closed the store daily, served customers and was in charge of the cash-register.
Now, look at the following description and see for yourself what a great difference it makes in showing how the candidate performed the job:
Opened the store on time and always stayed until the last happy customer left
Served over 60 happy customers with undying enthusiasm every single day for 5 years
Managed a monthly budget of $100,000
Do you see the difference? This description communicates much more about a candidate, showing that they're trustworthy, likable and have a positive attitude at work. Writing down your skills without giving concrete examples is useless. With such a description, you're demonstrating these skills and won't need to simply write that you have them.
Add the drama
Even the most mundane job can be made into one that instantly jumps off the page. You can do that by adding a dose of drama to your description. It's safe to say that every job has some moments of high emotion or stress to it. Those offer you great opportunities to show what a hard worker and dependable team player you are.
Don't forget that browsing hundreds of resumes daily, recruiters like to be entertained. Even if your job title doesn't sound exactly impressive, you can add a lot of excitement to it by injecting some drama.
How to do that? Have a look at this example:
Imagine a candidate who landed a job through temporary job agency and is currently working at a university, filing paper and answering phones. This is probably not a job for an entire career, but that's what they've got right now. When writing the job down on a resume, you'll probably expect a description in the vein of this one:
Providing customer service
Assistance in a courteous manner
Filing of paperwork
Doesn't it sound dull? How would you add a bit of sizzle to one of such ordinary jobs? Try a description like this:
Answer over 50 phone calls every day at a prestigious university department
Provide assistance to 30-40 students each day
Help to manage files for almost 3,000 students
Digitize critical university information
Sounds a bit better, doesn't it? In fact, if you compare these two job descriptions, you'll get a picture of two completely different people. The second picture focuses on the dynamic nature of the workday and features lots of numbers to give an image of the effort involved in managing them. The recruiter can easily picture such a candidate keeping order in a hectic work environment. It shows that they can handle a large workload and keep their cool under stress.
If you'd like to add some drama to your resume, try asking yourself these questions:
How were my jobs dramatic?
What were the most stressful moments?
What did I do to alleviate the stress from work?
What numbers can I add to make my account more interesting to the employer?
Leave something for the interview
Many candidates strive to give as much information as possible about themselves in their resumes. They're convinced that more is better. But if you’d like to succeed with your resume, you need to leave some juicy content for the interview.
Think of your resume as if it were a first date. How many times have you been on a date when the other person was going on and on about their lives and you've just had enough? That's right, we all appreciate a dose of mystery which leaves us wanting to get to know more about that person. This is what you should aim for when writing your resume and going to an interview.
Following the analogy, if the resume is the first date, you need to make it fascinating enough to earn the second date. This is why you should to leave the other side curious to know more about you. The more information you put in your resume, the more you will decrease your personal brand – writing about things recruiters really don't care about will put you in a bad light. If you include too little information about yourself, they might not understand your brand, which is not good either.
Your resume will make maximum impact if it contains the least amount of information that will make you a professional star.
A resume is the most important element in the process of landing a job. It needs to attract recruiters, make them curious about your personal brand and wanting to get to know you better. By describing your jobs as remarkable opportunities that gave you lots of valuable experience, you'll improve your chances at landing your dream job.
About the Author: Carol Williams is a team member at http://www.orangesonline.com/ - fruit shippers from Florida. She combines her passion and experience in HR with her love for writing and sharing her expertise.