The Art of Writing a Really Great Resume

resume writing

When was the last time you gave your resume a revamp? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long. We all know that we need to refresh our resumes regularly to add relevant skills, new roles and updated job titles, but what are the qualities of a really successful document, one that makes a hiring manager sit up and say, “I need to meet this person now!”? Especially considering the average recruiter typically spends about 7 seconds perusing a resume, the stakes are high to stand out.

In our experience collaborating with thousands of executive-level professionals to secure jobs with top companies around the world, we have helped craft resumes that have stood head and shoulders above the rest. Here are the resume components that spell success time and time again: 

  1. A clear, concise overview. While a curriculum vitae (a “CV”) offers a complete look at your professional life, including education, experience and expertise without the constraints of length, a resume should provide more of a summary focusing on the last 10 years of employment, especially if you’ve had a long career with lots of job titles and accomplishments. Keep it succinct and include your most outstanding career highlights, enticing a hiring manager to set up an in-person interview to learn more.  

  2. Custom-created content. Be sure to tailor your resume based on the specific position and company. Showcase different skills, roles and certifications you have in your background to make a hiring manager take notice. Nothing screams generic more than a resume that doesn’t speak to the role in question. 

  3. Savvy self-promotion. Spent time working with the most well-regarded companies in your field? Put those positions in your professional summary at the top to grab attention quickly. 

  4. Facts over fluff. Utilize concrete data and demonstrable numbers where you can. “Brought in $3 million in new business” makes a much bigger impression than “People person with networking skills.”

  5. Updated skill set. Today’s technology-driven job market values employees who are constantly learning and evolving. Be sure to include any recent courses you’ve taken, techniques you’ve cultivated and advancements you’ve pursued. This is the perfect place to include industry-focused keywords on your resume. 

Consider your resume to be your calling card, but a truly well-rounded job search is more of a marketing campaign. You need to look beyond the elevator pitch and be prepared for every phase of the process, including interviewing and navigating negotiations, which is one of the many benefits of working with job-finding experts rather than going it on your own.

The specialized career consultants at 20/20 Foresight Executive Marketing have the advantage of also having worked in the fields we represent. These professionals inherently understand your chosen industry’s trends and forecasts, giving us an edge when connecting candidates and companies. Our process is time-tested (we started in 2001) and proven (we have a 92 percent success rate), and your job search will be tailored to your distinctive needs and goals.

Find out how we can take you from building your resume to fielding job offers by filling out the form at right or calling 708.246.2100.