Expertise, Key Accomplishments and Keywords

My last post about keeping your resume updated drew a lot of attention so I thought it makes sense to continue this line of conversation.  Let's talk about a few important elements of your resume.

photo credit: Words Etc

Expertise

Last time I mentioned adding an "Expertise" area to your resume.  To expand on that, the reason I like to use this when I develop resumes for my clients is that it adapts well to tailoring a resume to a specific job posting while leaving the historical portion of the resume intact (experience, education, etc).  Think about your strongest skills and focus on them in a list or in a shadow box that really draws the eye.  Now this design feature  won't matter in an electronically submitted resume, but it's important to have it at the top because that's where our eyes usually start when reading anything, whether paper or electronic.  We'll talk more about reformatting for the web in another post.

Key Accomplishments

The same goes for utilizing a "Key Accomplishments" section.  I usually put both of these areas at top beneath the name and contact information.   This key accomplishments area is also easy to edit without interfering with the main body of the resume.

So just what are key accomplishments?  These may consist of some exceptional or unique roles you filled or goals that you met.  Think about things for which your boss or manager complimented you.  Did you receive awards or commendations?   These are great places to start. I like to identify one major key accomplishment for each job as this shows a consistent level of growth and expertise in your given area or areas.

And remember to tailor these to fit the particular job posting.  For instance, if your background has been in sales and you want to transition more into management, demonstrate some accomplishments that make you a  good candidate for management.  Have you managed budgets, motivated others, developed new strategies?  All of these fit well into a management role.  This is extremely important if you are transitioning career fields, but if you look carefully at  each part of your past jobs, you'll be able to identify points that demonstrate your strengths.  And that's what it is really about - your strengths and why you are the best candidate for the position.

Keywords

Remember the importance of keywords.  Just like SEO on a website, you have to use keywords in your resume that match the keywords of the job description.  In our high-tech world, resumes are often scanned before the selection process begins.  If those keywords of the job description aren't in your resume, guess what?  Your resume ends up in the round file, whether physical or electronic.  Click here for a great list of power words to use.

Okay, so get busy.  I've given you some ideas to start working on if your resume needs revamping.  What challenges do you think you'll have in building or rebuilding your resume?  Share with me.  I'd love to hear from you.  And tune in again for more ideas to help your resume be the best that it can be.

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