Years ago, I was in your shoes, a career changer with an outdated resume. After seeking help from a resume critic, I thought to myself, “I should know how to fix my resume.”
“Is your resume in its best state? Does it boost your job search? Is it email-ready and well-written to market your best credentials? Further, does it highlight your key qualifications? Are you satisfied with the calls you’re getting for job interviews? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you’re not yet ready to vie for a sales job if you’re a career changer.
Reasons I’ll Fix My Resume Today
1. It has been a while since my last job search.
It’s been years since I’ve been on a job search. As technology and recruiting practices continue to progress, resume writing rules change, too. From formatting and layout to content and keywords, I must take several items to into account when assessing and updating my resume.
2. My goals changed.
After years of working, I’m now beyond the entry-level position, so I must update my resume to show this status. Likewise, the same thing goes for you if you’re planning to change careers or to take on your first leadership role. In particular, my goals changed and the format and content of my resume, too.
3. I’m not familiar with keywords and ATS systems.
Most job applications now pass through an electronic filter known as ATS (applicant tracking system) before they make their way to the hiring manager. Further, my resume doesn’t contain the right keywords and format to pass the first screenings, too.
4. I’m not sure what to include or exclude.
What contact information should I include? How important is an objective statement? Should I place one on my resume? In addition, how far back should my employment history show? Can I include details on the classes I’ve had or the volunteer work I’ve done?
5. I have a complicated work history.
Instead of smooth, my work history is rough. Due to a handful of personal reasons, I moved jobs and places resulting into several short-term jobs and employment gaps. Although I don’t intend to hide them, I’m hoping to downplay my shortcomings.
How to Ask for a Resume Critique
Do you share my sentiments? If yes, then a professional resume reviewer can help you. Here’s how:
Whom to Ask
The person conducting the critique should have reviewed resumes and interviewed job seekers themselves. Unless a professional has experience in hiring or can figure out what employers want to see in a resume, it would be hard to make proper assessment.
What to Expect
The reviewer should check every part of the resume just as a hiring manager would, reviewing it for first impression, content, and edge against other resumes.
You can choose between fee-based and free review services. Here’s how they differ.
- Fee-Based Reviews: Conducted by writers and other experts for a fee, your reviewer offers detailed feedback on your resume’s strengths and weaknesses in a written report, phone conversation, or both. In particular, if you sign up for a paid review, ask what you’ll receive and ask for a sample report, so you can see the quality of their feedback.
- Free Reviews: An added feature in resume writing services, they give free reviews and even unlimited revisions given you’ll hire their services. Likewise, you can ask favors from friends that work in your target industry to review your resume. The report won’t be as comprehensive as the paid ones but will still be helpful.
What to Give
The reviewer must know your career goals and industry targets to give useful feedback. Discuss with him or her potential problem areas such as employment gaps, job hopping, or unrelated work history.
What to Keep and What to Purge
If you asked 10 people to review your resume, it’s more probable you’ll get 10 different opinions, too. A few may offer conflicting advice, making it more difficult for you to know what changes to make on your resume. Heed suggestions and prepare to make changes. Pay attention to the advice of resume writers and hiring managers or people within your target industry.
Common Sales Resume Mistakes and Answers to “How to Fix My Resume”
Do the details above made you think, “I should know how to fix my resume today”? If yes, here are common resume blunders and tips to fix them to boost your sales resume and hiring chances.
1. Exclude the Percentage of Annual Sales You Achieved
Most recruiters look for numbers in sales resumes. They want to see proof of your feats and the exact figures of your sales contribution to past employers. If you got them, show how confident you are and write how much you contributed to your past employer’s sales in percentage.
2. List Achievements toward the End of Your Resume
You’re doing it wrong if you exclude or place your attainments towards the end of your application. Further, achievements are vital in sales, so they deserve a higher spot in your resume. Hiring managers face hundreds or even thousands of applications daily; thus, they don’t have the time to read your whole resume. Hence, learn to arrange and put key information first.
3. Use “I” and “My” in Your Resume
You can use the first person approach when writing your sales resume. Yet, omit “I” and “my” to make it more formal. Instead of writing, “I worked for ABC”, a much simpler “Worked for ABC” would be better.
4. Use Paragraphs
Recruiters for sales jobs will want to see bulleted lists than wordy paragraphs. They’re easier to read and help them save time. Hence, if you don’t wish to be on the wrong side of the fence and your resume on the “rejected” pile, narrow your paragraph to a comprehensive, bulleted list.
5. Write a Long Resume
Your sales resume must not be over two pages if you don’t have enough experience and skills under your sleeves. Remember, hiring managers will only skim your resume, so it must include details relevant to your target position and industry. In addition, avoid putting unnecessary information to make it look full.
A job in the competitive field of sales can be tough if you’re a career changer. You’ll be going against hundreds of qualified professionals, who want that job, too. Thus, don’t count out yourself by submitting a mediocre resume. It’s your best weapon, so polish it and make it perfect, updated, and tailored to your target job and company.
If you’re ready to take on a career in sales and marketing, Resume Prime can help you. Just as how it has helped me change careers, its roster of professional resume writers will help you get the best possible sales resume tailored after your needs. Tell its agents, “I don’t know how to fix my resume. Please help me create one”, and they’d be glad to assist you.
Sources: monster.com | livecareer.com | pipelinelabs.com