Reaching way, way back to my marketing studies, I remember learning a theory called AIDA, and for whatever reason it stuck in my head when so much else found another place to roost. AIDA is a concept that applies to marketing and advertising, but it can equally apply to job searching (since, you guessed it, job searching IS a marketing activity and your resume IS an advertising tool).
Let's break it down:
A - ATTENTION
I - INTEREST
D - DESIRE
A - ACTION
The idea is that your marketing program, advertising campaign, resume, whatever, needs to first attract the person's attention, then get them interested, elevate that interest to desire, and then inspire them to take action (ie. buy, call you for an interview, etc.).
Let's see how that applies to your resume (since you're on a resume writer's website, after all):
Attracting attention usually means getting people to actually see your resume, but that's more of a job search question, and probably better left to another post. In terms of your resume, I believe attracting attention refers to the first 1-2 seconds someone has laid eyes on it, before they've actually read anything. As soon as it pops up on their screen, what is their immediate impression? Does it look like it's organized, professionally designed, and easy to read? Or does it look like it was thrown together in a few minutes? Attracting the reader's attention means making sure that very first impression - that first glance - is a positive one.
Gaining the reader's interest means making sure the information you're providing them with is relevant. What do recruiters want to know about you? Do they want to read a big, chunky summary paragraph that goes on and on about how dynamic and results-oriented you are? Not really. Do they want to see a long list of skills that you believe you possess? Probably not. Do they want to see lengthy descriptions of your duties & responsibilities from each job? Usually not. If you waste their time by filling your resume with information they don't want, they won't be interested and they'll quickly move on.
Interest is great but they'll likely have some level of interest in many candidates. So how do you elevate that casual interest into a feeling of desire? You do that by showing the positive impact you've had on previous employers, so they can get a sense of how you might contribute to their company. And you do that by highlighting your achievements. Showing how successful you've been, how your results compared to your peers, and what your leaders thought of your performance will help the reader to visualize you making the same valuable impact on their company.
The purpose of your resume is to prompt the reader to take action - to contact you for an interview or more information, or at the very least to save your resume for further consideration. The goal is to make it to the next "round," whether that's a screening call, a face-to-face interview, a Skype session, or just avoiding the trash can. To do that you need to show that you have the required experience, you're a consistently strong performer, and there's a very strong likelihood that you would be able replicate that success with a new company. For them to take action, you need to have your phone number on your resume so they can call you, your email address so they can write to you, and your LinkedIn profile so they can add you to their network.
I know it's hard to look at your own resume with fresh eyes, but try it. Imagine reviewing your resume while also having many more in your inbox to check out. Does it attract your attention at first glance and make a positive impression? Does it give you the information you'd be looking for, if you were a recruiter? Does it "impress" you and make you want to hire yourself? Does it make you want to pick up the phone and call this person?
If so, congratulations, your resume is doing its job. If not, check out my website for details on my service (it's very short, I promise). Perhaps I can help get you there.
All the best!
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