How to Write a Resume That Shows Your Real Value to Employers

How to Write a Resume That Shows Your Real Value to Employers was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Writing a resume—especially one that immediately speaks to employers, compelling them to call you or reach out via email to learn more—isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes time and effort… and, sometimes, a lot of eyeballs for feedback.

When you consider the fact that potentially hundreds or even thousands of other candidates are applying for the same single job as you, it’s easy to see why writing a resume that really entices employers at first glance is so important. Never mind that resume readers only scan ’em for an average of 7.4 seconds.

So how do you write a resume that shows your real value to employers when you’re fighting for their attention? Or when there’s a good chance your resume is going through an applicant tracking system instead of landing on an actual person’s desk?

Here’s how to write a resume that employers will notice in seconds

Make sure you mirror the language on the job advert.

Studies show that 75 percent of recruiters use applicant tracking systems during the hiring process. Applicant tracking systems parse the content of resumes and put them into categories. From there, they scan them for specific and similar keywords and phrases. That helps them determine whether or not your resume should even be sent along to the recruiter. 

So, before turning in your resume, make sure to optimize it for potential applicant tracking systems. Look for keywords and phrases in the job advertisement, and work them into your resume. If you can, tweak your job titles and descriptions to match the job advert, too. 

Demonstrate results with hard facts and metrics.

Ever heard of the show and not tell? That’s what you want to do with your resume. Show potential employers hard facts and metrics, like numbers, when you’re talking about results. Did you grow your last company’s social media presence to an impressive number? Hit a certain sales goal? Increase open rates for that email campaign by a specific percentage?

Share those numbers to show the person reading your resume what you’re capable of achieving for their company, as well. Doing so will take your resume from good to great.

Keep it concise but complete.

Your resume, ideally, should fit on one page. While that’s not always possible for executives with storied experiences under their belts, the more concise you can keep your resume, the better. That’s because hiring managers and recruiters are not going to want to have to go digging to find the details they need.

You can cut your resume down by removing flowery language, cutting unnecessary filler words, and getting straight to the point. There are tons of tools out there to help you write clearly and effectively. Outwrite and Wordtune are two examples of online tools that will help you paraphrase or restructure and simplify sentences to reduce wordiness. 

Cover more than your job duties.

You can and should share your job duties on your resume. However, that shouldn’t be all the experiences section of your resume says to anyone reading it. Your experiences section should paint a picture for them about what working with you might look like. 

Instead of merely covering the basics of what you did in your last roles, make sure to write about your experiences in such a way that you show the impact you made on the companies for which you worked. Of course, sharing hard facts and metrics is one way to do this, but you can also share quantitative results. 

Share your relevant skills.

Don’t forget to list out your relevant skills. Your skills section should be quick and to the point. Often, it’s just a bulleted list. While you likely have a wealth of skills across multiple disciplines—especially if you’re at the executive level of your career—make sure that what you include in this list is relevant to the job for which you’re applying. 

If there are specific skills that you possess and that the company is seeking in candidates, according to the job advertisement, list all of those on your resume. They should take precedence over other skills. While soft skills are important to talk about once in your cover letter or during your interview, your resume should really reflect the hard industry skills you have, such as specific software experience.

 Once you feel like your resume is ready… it’s not. Read it again, and pass it along to a friend or someone whose professional opinion you trust. They may be able to help you refine your resume even more with a fresh pair of eyes.

Or, if you want professional help, Ivy Exec is here to help with professional resume writers who can make sure yours is in tip-top shape. You can also find a wealth of pointers for writing a resume that recruiters will actually read in the career advice section of the site.


By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.