Our philosophy is that one of the best ways to prepare for any job interview is to truly commit and immerse yourself in the resume writing process. After years of looking at a myriad of resumes, many of which were really bad, I ended up writing a Resume Guide: How to Look Good on Paper. I decided that to end resume fails, we needed to explain to people how the resume writing process helps with the honest self-evaluation and reflection that is necessary to prepare for the job interview.
Identify your competencies
Writing your resume is a really good way to think about and summarize a list of competencies that you have and that employers need. Keep in mind that employers are interested in the competencies you have right now; not the ones you are going to develop and not necessarily the ones you had five or ten years ago. Resumes that don’t demonstrate the competencies that are in demand and that the employer is asking for now, will definitely fail to hold recruiters’ attention.
Getting a clearer picture of what you want
There is nothing like the resume writing process to clarify your career goals at this point in your professional life. The resume is not about what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s about what you are looking for in your next opportunity. Resumes that don’t share a compelling picture of where you are right now and how you want to contribute right now, won’t hold the recruiters’ attention.
Refreshing your memory about relevant professional and education history
Writing your resume gives you the opportunity to recall the important accomplishments you want to share right now. Resume writing a great way to recall and language the stories you will tell in job interviews. If you want to end resume fails, use the resume to put your best, most impressive summary of your professional highlights in front of the employer. If your resume doesn’t share recent and relevant information, it won’t hold recruiters’ attention.
Bragging about your accomplishments
The bottom line is that your resume will fail you if you do not include accomplishments. The emphasis here being on recent and non-trivial professional accomplishments. Your resume must demonstrate the value that you brought to previous employers, regardless of the positions that you held. If your resume just list tasks without speaking to the impact of your role, it won’t hold recruiters’ attention.