Monday, December 9, 2013
Need to Rewrite Your Resume? Four Tips Before You Submit
In continuation of my guest blogger series, Burtch Works' marketing research specialists Karla Ahern and Naomi Keller will be sharing their top tips for writing a resume. With years of experience viewing many (many) resumes for our candidates, there are four main areas that demand your attention. You can find the original article posted here.
As recruiters and former market researchers, we have a unique vantage point into the field of market research. We have both an intimate, experiential knowledge of the day-to-day life of market research, as well as an overall view that allows us to see the varying trends that affect the marketplace. As a result, our candidates come to us with a variety of questions regarding their search process and “How can I improve my résumé?” is one of the most frequent ones we hear. A strong résumé is compelling and concise, and it effortlessly tells your story. Here are our top tips to achieve that effect:
1. Highlight the impact you’ve had at your organization, not just your day-to-day responsibilities.
As a market researcher, you already understand the importance of telling a story. It’s not enough to provide data tables for a study; you have to provide insightful analysis and connect it to the overall effect for the brand. The same goes for your own résumé. While your responsibilities are a crucial element of your story, employers are always looking for that last impactful punch, so be sure to explain how you contributed to the success of the company in a quantifiable way.
2. Add summary and objective statements.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your work history will tell your story for you. Adding a summary and objective statement to the top of your résumé is your chance to contextualize your experience and craft your career narrative. You want to boil down the essence of your background and phrase it in a compelling way that draws a clear line between your achievements and your career objectives.
3. Include your core competencies.
Similar to summary statements, we recommend that candidates include a list of key competencies at the top of their résumés. This is your opportunity to call out your methodological expertise and specialized skills in a visually impactful way. As with any résumé, tailor the highlighted skills to the specific position that you’re seeking. If it’s a consumer insights manager role, for example, you’ll want to highlight the types of survey methodologies that you’re familiar with, quantitative and qualitative research expertise, vendor management experience, etc.
4. Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh.
Sometimes having a polished résumé only goes so far. There are hiring managers and recruiters cross-checking you on LinkedIn, not to mention sourcing for positions that you may want but don’t even know about. Keeping your profile up to date is imperative. It’s fine to be selective about what you share on LinkedIn, but at the very least, make sure your profile is current to your latest job, consistent with your résumé for all dates and titles, and tightly edited, and includes an overall description of each of your roles.
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when crafting your résumé is that the first make-or-break initial scan will be brief, often less than 20 seconds. Your goal should be a concise, organized and memorable résumé that tells your story, both where you’ve been and where you intend to go.