Resume Writing For A Highly Competitive Job Market

Most job hunters already know that a​ resume is​ a​ must when it​ comes to​ applying for jobs and getting potential employers to​ take notice,​ but unfortunately,​ most resumes are just not up to​ par. People actively seeking employment often fail to​ create an​ effective resume that will impress hiring managers and land interviews.

And yet,​ in​ today’s vigorous job market,​ at​ a​ time when layoffs are the​ norm and competition for jobs is​ cutthroat,​ it’s more important than ever that your resume catch the​ eyes of​ the​ recruiter or​ resume screener,​ who may spend no more than 30 seconds on​ each resume during the​ initial selection process. This is​ why your resume has to​ be more than a​ document listing your various accomplishments and achievements – it​ must be a​ successful marketing tool.

A poorly constructed resume merely lists the​ applicant’s job history,​ using bullets to​ state past responsibilities,​ and entirely neglects to​ take advantage of​ marketing techniques that make a​ resume stand out from the​ crowd. You might be the​ hardest-working,​ most responsible individual around,​ but if​ your resume doesn’t make that clear,​ what will distinguish you from everyone else applying for the​ job,​ in​ the​ eyes of​ the​ hiring manager?

To avoid turning in​ a​ resume that blandly lists your qualities and work history,​ you must transform it​ into an​ accomplishment-driven piece of​ writing that clearly emphasizes the​ importance and relevance of​ each accomplishment.

It may not be easy to​ do this,​ but if​ you approach the​ process step-by-step,​ and use the​ basic sections of​ the​ resume to​ market your abilities,​ experience,​ and potential value to​ the​ employer,​ reworking your resume into a​ marketing machine is​ an​ attainable feat.

Starting From the​ Top

Arguably the​ most important part of​ the​ resume is​ the​ first three quarters of​ the​ page. Recruiters and screeners have to​ wade through stacks of​ resumes,​ so they tend to​ scan the​ first part of​ the​ first page to​ pare down the​ pile,​ initially. if​ you want to​ survive the​ preliminary cut,​ this section of​ your resume should be full of​ accomplishments that market your particular skills and capabilities to​ the​ specific employer and position.

Of course,​ your name and contact information appear in​ this section as​ well,​ but you should also include a​ professional summary in​ addition to,​ as​ mentioned above,​ the​ list of​ accomplishments.

Professional Summary

A professional summary is​ considered by many resume experts to​ be more effective than a​ stated “objective,​” in​ today’s job market. it​ works as​ a​ sturdy introduction to​ a​ strong resume,​ and proves more powerful in​ the​ face of​ the​ 30-second scan because it​ offers the​ recruiter a​ snapshot of​ your most important attributes.

Use the​ summary as​ a​ short ad all about you. Include information in​ the​ first sentence or​ two regarding the​ type of​ position you’re looking for,​ and make it​ clear why you are different or​ better than the​ other applicants vying for the​ same position.

The final three or​ four sentences should identify your expertise and abilities that apply to​ the​ job in​ question. Make it​ clear why you can be an​ asset to​ the​ company! Acting as​ an​ introduction to​ the​ rest of​ your resume,​ the​ statements made in​ the​ professional summary need to​ be reinforced in​ the​ sections of​ the​ resume that follow.


The accomplishments you decide to​ highlight in​ this section are important because past performance is​ a​ good indicator of​ what you can do for the​ company,​ if​ hired. Mentioning successes you have scored in​ the​ past is​ your best bet to​ landing an​ interview.

Just be sure to​ select 3-6 accomplishments that relate directly to​ the​ position you seek and make them quantifiable and measurable – provide answers to​ questions such as​ how many/much? Which one? What kind? This will add substance to​ the​ facts you have stated.

The best way to​ determine what accomplishments to​ list here is​ to​ think from the​ perspective of​ the​ employer. Recruiters want to​ know why you could be an​ asset to​ the​ company – perhaps you will save them time and money,​ or​ provide another favorable result? Highlight accomplishments that draw attention to​ your past successes in​ applicable areas of​ expertise.

The Body

This section of​ the​ resume profiles your professional experience. Here you make note of​ the​ companies you have worked for in​ the​ past,​ along with your title/position and the​ dates of​ employment (in years).

But be wary of​ falling into the​ trap of​ simply listing off your work experience. Even in​ this section of​ the​ resume,​ it’s extremely important to​ avoid compiling an​ inventory of​ job duties. Companies are interested in​ much more than surface achievements or​ responsibilities – they are looking for people who can translate success achieved in​ past jobs to​ a​ future position. Make it​ clear what you can contribute to​ the​ employer.

For instance,​ if​ your past role was that of​ “manager,​” make it​ clear that this involved leading a​ team of​ people and successfully motivating them to​ complete tasks on​ budget and on​ time. if​ you worked as​ a​ cashier or​ bank teller,​ note that you were trusted with money and worked well in​ a​ customer service capacity. Any awards you won can also be stated in​ this section – just remember to​ quantify every statement you make!


The final section of​ the​ resume lists educational information,​ as​ well as​ anything else that might be considered professional experience,​ such as​ continuing education,​ seminars,​ and other classes you have taken that are applicable to​ the​ job. Here you can also draw attention to​ any professional organizations and affiliations you belong to,​ as​ well as​ civic duties you perform and volunteer experience you have accumulated over the​ years,​ as​ long as​ it​ relates to​ the​ position you are attempting to​ win.

Always list the​ last degree completed first,​ without mentioning dates. For those with a​ college degree,​ there is​ no need to​ mention high school,​ as​ this will be assumed.

No one said job hunting was simple,​ so it’s important to​ do as​ much as​ possible to​ get your foot in​ the​ door. By using your resume as​ a​ powerful marketing tool,​ it​ will be much easier to​ successfully launch your career and snag the​ dream job you’ve always wanted.

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