Your resume needs a powerful professional summary

I have been writing professional resumes for 12 years. During that time, I have seen worked with thousands of clients who have resumes that are vague, weak, and really just boring. If you have just 12 seconds to impress your resume, are you capturing your readers attention? A professional resume should pack a punch and impress the reader. It should feel ‘real’ and dynamic. A static resume, not updated since 2009, is not really going to get you the results you want.

A very common error my clients makes on their resumes is either they have an ‘Objective’ on their resume, or nothing at all. A professional summary, if written correctly, is going to direct your reader to your skill set, position your competencies, and highlight the benefits of hiring you.

Review your current resume. The top 1/3 of your resume can serve as a powerful marketing tool. Are you making good use of that opportunity?

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Do you really need a professional resume writing service?

Oh, yes. If you want to stand out and get noticed, then this is a surefire way to do it. A professional resume writing service – a qualified, credentialed service ie. – has insights into the current job market. A professional service will know how to use the right jargon and key industry terms to leverage your expertise and help you stand out among your competitors. A beautifully written resume with a stylish presentation will take you far.

Always use a certified, credentialed writing service. There are hundreds and thousands of people claiming to be able to write an effective resume. The truth is, many of those services are not certified and have no real training in writing dynamic resumes. Look for a service or professional who is a CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) or holder of an equivalent qualification. Certified writers have completed tests and have industry reputation that others do not.

A professional resume writing service will showcase your skills and highlight what you can offer a potential employer. You resume will contain all the keywords and buzz phrases that employers are looking for. Moreover, a professional resume will be selected in keyword searches and online job applications.

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Top 3 Resume Errors made by IT/Technical Professionals

So you spot a job opening online and it’s your dream job. You know you are the perfect candidate for this opportunity and all you need to do is get your foot in the door.  You spell check it, check for grammar, and make sure it is neat and updated.  But, are you aware that you may be making one of the top errors IT jobseekers often make on their resume? Here is a checklist:

  1. Appearance: Have you selected a format that truly showcases your project accomplishments and technical skills? If you are a developer or project manager do not omit the scope, budget size, project details, and tools for every project. If there is special tool you used for 3 of 5 projects, a recruiter totals this time to figure out exactly how much experience you have using that tool. Such details are also important for the reader to place you among your peers and truly appreciate your skill set.
  2. Audience:  Don’t forget that your resume is going to be screened, sometimes many times by recruiters and HR personnel before it actually reaches the IT hiring managers desk. If your resume does not balance the technical jargon with layperson language, your resume may be overlooked. It is important to keep your resume balanced and readable. Try to avoid using ‘developed’ and ‘deployed’ for every job!
  3. Approach: This is common mistake many jobseekers make. A laundry list of duties is not what they are looking for. They probably already have a good idea of what the job involves. What a recruiter is looking for is something that makes you unique, special, or worthy of this new role. Including job descriptions with accomplishments will help you showcase your duties and any highlights during that role. Try to quantify your achievements and include $s, facts, and figures wherever possible.

The IT resume can often be challenging to write and develop.  Make sure you list all your technical skills and include a powerful cover letter. Specify if you are looking for short-term contract positions, projects in a certain regional area, or full-time employment. Do not lie about you background. There is almost always a technical interview that follows.

Lastly, your resume is a key tool that sells your skills and experience to both technical and non-technical employers and recruiters.  Keep this in mind before you send your application in.

Want the experts to write it for you? Contact us for a free evaluation of your resume, or order our service today.

 

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How effective is your cover letter?

When it comes to writing an effective cover letter, the basic rule to follow is to highlight what you can offer a potential employer. Employers love to see motivation, dedication, and eagerness.  Avoid being too formal. You can make it personal, without being chatty. Your goal is to showcase your strengths and demonstrate to them (always in one page) how you meet their job requirements.

Keeping in mind that the cover letter is often overlooked, keep it short and driven. Your opening line should be attention grabbing. ‘Are you looking for a specialist in cost containment that consistently drives profits despite sluggish economic factors?’ sounds better than ‘I found your job posting on Xyz and I am attaching my resume for your perusal’. I’ve seen this sentence a thousand times. Wow them with a strong opening.

Your next few paragraphs should talk about your skills and experience. Tailor it if you can to the specific job posting that you are targeting. Use bullets to highlight your accomplishments.

Your closing paragraph should be friendly and professional.  Make sure you include your contact information and best available times to discuss. Offer more information about yourself if you desire. If you have a nice online profile, offer them a link to learn more about you. Do this only if your online profile is unique and going to further impress them.

I’ve had many jobseekers tell me that they feel awkward talking about themselves. Consider hiring a service to write it for you, or you sit with a close friend or colleague and write down what you think are your top 5 selling points. Be specific. ‘I love challenges’ is great, but go the extra mile by giving a specific example.

Lastly, I cannot stress enough how important it is to proofread your cover letter. Watch out for common grammatical errors.  Have someone read it. Are they impressed? Does it say everything you need to say about your career without being too wordy?

Whether you write your own letter, or have a professional writing service complete it for you, a cover letter should be beautifully crafted, compelling, and effective in landing you those phone calls!

Contact us for a free evaluation of your cover letter. We specialize in professional cover letters, technical cover letters, entry-level cover letters, and executive cover letters. Visit us at www.sharkresumes.com.

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