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Senior-level jobseeker? Here's how to streamline your resume

By David Brown, CEO of Hays US on Monday, Mar 12, 2018

You want that next tier of experience, that shot at better managerial postings. So why aren’t you getting them? Odds are it’s your resume. Many experienced, senior-level jobseekers struggle when attempting to update their resume, overloading their resume with a sea of job titles, skills, qualifications, and experience. Let us help you write a concise, relevant, impactful resume that stands out from the crowd. Here’s how:

Be ruthless

Start by eliminating information not relevant to the role or industry. Highlight key skills and required attributes. Skim your career history and focus on best matches. Have you used valuable space describing skills, attributes, and responsibilities that are a distant second, or skills you last used years ago? Strip them out.

Don’t include your early education or your first jobs – keep your resume as current as possible. Do you want a recruiter to see the person you were then, or the more experienced, better suited candidate you are now?

Craft your resume with your target in mind

Once your resume contains only necessary information, make sure it stands out to a recruiter. How? Write your resume with your target in mind – don’t bombard them with everything you’ve ever done or you’ll bury the pertinent material. Never give a hiring manager a reason to stop reading: be clear, be concise, be relevant.

The five steps below will help you do just that by grouping your key achievements, highlights, and attributes in the most visible configuration. This should ideally be done on the first page of your resume.

1. Contact details:
Beyond the expected (and necessary) name and contact details, provide a link to your online portfolio or LinkedIn profile. If doing the latter, ensure your LinkedIn profile and resume match. That way, a recruiter can find out more as they need, and access samples of your work.

2. Personal statement:
Make your unique selling point stand out. What can you bring the company that no other candidate can? Here’s where you talk directly to your audience.

You can, for instance, take this time to summarize relevant, notable achievements in your career. Applying for a Marketing Director position? Mention that time you increased revenue at a specific company by X value, by implementing a campaign involving Y and Z. Be specific. Give recruiters numbers and hard facts to consider. And this doesn’t have to be your most recent role – pick a time when you shone and tell a hiring manager how you did it.

3. Skills:
Bullet point your skills – condense information most pertinent to the role. Skills can be placed in different areas of your resume depending on what template you use, but off to the side is often best. You want to acknowledge your skills, not have them take up too much room in your resume’s body.

4. Career history:
Present your career history in reverse chronological order with your most current role at the top. Provide more information about your most current role, and successively less as you go deeper into your career history. If previous jobs aren’t relevant to the role you’re applying for, but you want to avoid gaps in your resume, list only a job title, dates, and the name of the company. This lets you save space while still providing top-line information.

5. Simplify your language and format:
Concision is key. Get to the point, make your resume as clean as possible, and use action verbs. Avoid walls of text to keep a recruiter reading. Your experience will show through, so don’t hit people over the head with the minutiae of what you’ve done. And refrain from using company specific terminology that doesn’t translate readily. Lastly, proof read, proof read, proof read. Your resume will go straight in the garbage if it’s littered with spelling and grammatical errors.
Think of it this way: Your resume is your sales document. You, as an experienced professional, must ensure it’s pitched at the right level to showcase what you’re offering. You are the product.

Show a hiring manager the experienced, indispensable you – not the you from ten years ago. Streamline your resume to emphasize your value and experience succinctly and cleanly. Then contact Hays to let us put our experience to work for you.

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