Monthly Archives: August 2014

How to Get your Résumé Noticed

We all know there’s no such thing as a perfect resume document.  There are so many rules that even recruiters can’t agree on what you should or shouldn’t include.  However, you can follow this basic resume rule to make your resume shine and stand out! This rule is too add a core competencies portion on your resume.  By creating a core competency section on your resume, it can be an immediate way for the hiring manager to get a sense of your areas of expertise.

The core competencies piece on a resume is hugely valuable.  The reason being is it quickly gives the reader a quick checklist to aid in assessing if the candidate is a match for the position.  I would recommend you write your top core competencies and ensure to list no more than nine skills. Don’t have a lengthy list of competencies as they will overpower the reader.  In addition, the hiring manager will more likely than not read through the entire list of skills.


Now how do you choose which are your top skills? The skills you list should be based on your top skills that are relevant to your career goal.  Are you unsure of which skills are most relevant to you and your industry?  Take the time to review a few job listings in order to decide on the requirements. Next you will balance those requirements with your professional expertise.  Finally you will take that list and measure it to a list of nine core competencies.

Don’t forget as you apply to different organizations and positions, you will ensure to take the time to customize the list of core competencies in order to meet the needs of each position you apply to.

These core competencies are important since these are the words the hiring managers are looking for when they perform their search.  Pay attention to the list of core competencies you choose as your resume may be overlooked it these specific keywords are not listed on your resume.

The “prime real estate” on your resume is usually the top half of the first page of your resume. Since the majority of hiring managers typically spend 8 seconds or less scanning a resume, prior to them placing it in a “yes” or “no” pile.  The reason they take so little time in reviewing resumes is because they often have stacks of career documents to review for one position. However there is a way to make your chances of landing in the “yes” pile! Take your time in deciding what to place in your “prime real estate”.


Here is an exercise to perform and think about.  I challenge you to print your resume out and fold it in half.  Now look at the top half of your resume.  With the bottom half not showing, would a hiring manager have enough data to make an informed decision about you and your background? Where do you think you stand?  Do you think your resume will end up in the “yes” or “no” pile?  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of your career document will be overlooked.  However the content of your prime real estate could make all the difference!





How to write a Summary of Qualifications for your Resume

A summary of qualifications needs to establish a strong focus and bring interest.  It should not be wordy or have an overly descriptive passage.  On the other hand, a summary should not be full of soft skills.  What the summary should give is the main points of information pertained to the candidate.  These main points are ~ job title, experience, industry and expertise.  The summary of qualifications section of the resume is the most important part, because it gets read the most and sets the tone for the rest of the document. 

The summary may be the only piece of your resume that is fully read by the hiring manager.  This is why it’s very important to be convincing and strong. This section of the resume is where you may include characteristics which will be helpful in winning you an actual interview.

The summary is the most difficult to write and one needs to ensure its targeted and compelling to the reader.  You could think of it as an “elevator pitch”.  What is that?  If you were in an elevator with a potential employer, and you want them to hire you, you would quickly deliver your elevator pitch to convince them to hire you.

When you start the process of writing your summary, ask yourself some of these questions.  How many years of career experience do you have and in what field?  What specific work shills do you have? Ensure you pick and choose what pertains to your particular situation.  If you are a recent college grad, you may not have a lot of career experience.  If this is the case, emphasize your skills and abilities you learned while in college.


Start your summary with a short phrase to describe your profession and your work related skills. Give a synopsis of your career experience and some personal qualities that will ensure you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. When you take your time to create and write your summary well, hiring managers will want to read the rest of your career document.  Have a buddy read over your summary and make suggestions.

The purpose of the Summary of Qualifications is so that it spotlights your most career highlights and relevant skills and experience. The key thing is for your summary to give a quick overview of the value you will bring to a potential employer.

You may ask yourself, why you need a summary.  Since employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening, they tend to look at resumes for no more than 10 seconds.  If you take the time to write a compelling summary of qualifications, your resume will have a better chance of landing in the Yes pile.

Just keep in mind the summary of qualifications portion of your resume contains brief statements to describe why you’re the best candidate for the position.  Don’t forget to showcase and tell why you stand out from the others!