The key to improving your resume immediately

Having a highly-effective resume is vital to your career success. However, so many people have done it wrong. And general resume tips are insufficient to unlock your dream jobs. You can find out why in my blog here.

The purpose of your resume

You are not using your resume to showcase your professional writing skills. You are using it to get hiring managers interested. So they want to invite you for an interview.


Writing a resume is like writing a sales letter. You are selling your services to some potential buyers. So you must understand what they want first. You can read more from my blog here: "3 things hiring managers want to know about you". 


Now you are clear about your resume's objective, let's talk about:

The KEY to improving your resume immediately

The KEY here stands for three crucial components: Keywords, Evidence, Yourself

1. Keywords

What is the most common mistake in resume writing? You have not targeted your resume to a specific job posting.


Many people write a standard resume, submit it to hundreds of job portals, and wait for the magic. Unfortunately, most of them get almost zero response. Why? Because you have not done your homework.


To increase your success rate, you have to match your resume to the specific job requirements. Here is how you do it:

  • Copy & paste the content of your target job posting to a text editor (e.g. Microsoft Word).

  • Highlight all the keywords that appeared in the job posting. They could be technical skills (e.g. Azure, Python, SQL Server), soft skills (e.g. Problem Solver, Analytical Thinking, Team Player), or experience expectations (e.g. 2-3 years experience in risk assessment, having a CISSP certification).

  • Group and prioritize the keywords you found.

  • Pick Top 5 items on your prioritized list, and check how well your resume covers them.

You may consult some experienced professionals if you are new to some domains. But I suggest you do your homework first. 

2. Evidence

The prioritized keywords from step one reflect the expectations of hiring managers. With that target in mind, it is now your turn to approve you are job-ready.


Blindly copying these keywords into your resume doesn't work. You need to provide clear evidence to cover the must-have requirements for this specific job.


For example, it asks for "Experiencing in major public cloud solutions." You may provide some proofs like "Worked two years in a cloud app on Microsoft Azure for Company A,""Got Microsoft Azure Fundamental certification," or "Completed an analysis report to compare major cloud solutions like Azure, AWS, GCP."


This process helps you rephrase your skills and experience to meet the job requirements better. Of course, you can not fake it. You cannot put "5 years experience in the cloud" while you have never opened a cloud portal. 


Furthermore, this exercise helps you quickly discover if you are a strong candidate for this job or not. The identified gaps will guide you to form a better career strategy or a learning plan.

3. Yourself

You have provided evidence to cover all job requirements. It looks like you are qualified to do this job. But so do ten other applicants. What is unique about you? 


Somewhere in your resume (preferable in the early sections), you need to demonstrate your most significant achievement, strengths, or values. Something represents The Best of You! 


For example, Have you won any contests at work or school? Have you published a book or article? Have you led a challenging project and successfully delivered it? What are you most proud of yourself?


Think about it as your elevator pitch. It will help hiring managers understand better what unique values you bring to the table. It will make you outstanding from the crowd.

Summary

The objective of your resume is to show you are the RIGHT ONE for this specific job. The KEY (Keywords, Evidence, Yourself) is a powerful method to improve your resume immediately. It helps you meet the essential job requirements effectively and increase your chances of landing your dream job significantly!

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1 comment

  • Great advice for early career and guidance for late career. Really like the acronym – good job.

    Vesna Radinovic

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