Resume as a Killer App: 7 Rules that Produce Interviews
Software developers all want to create the killer app. It’s the innovative, new breed platform that introduces the world to capabilities that they had never dreamed of but find that they can’t live without. Spreadsheets enabled the introduction of the PC and ushered in a new age of analyzing everything. Customer Relationship Management systems changed the nature of sales and customer service. Without a CRM, your business was left in the dust. So far, there hasn’t been a killer app for the Apple watch, and most of us are still wondering why we would need one.
How does this relate to your resume?
Your resume can be just a document that leaves potential employers wondering why they would need you or it could be the killer app that convinces them that you’re the person that they just have to hire.
Developers have to follow tight coding rules when they create a killer app. Similarly, there are rules to follow if you want your resume to bring in interviews and job offers. Let’s look at 7 Rules for writing a killer app resume that will get an interview.
Resume Rule #1: Think and Write Strategically
Your goal isn’t just to “get a job.” It’s to get this job. Employers are looking for specific skills and you don’t want to work for just any company. You should be seeking out organizations and positions that are a tight fit with your interests and experience. Do the research, make contacts, and craft your resume to show how your capabilities and accomplishments will benefit the company you’re targeting. Following these tips will help you rehearse for a successful interview.
Resume Rule #2: Customize Every Resume
The days of blanketing the community with cookie cutter resumes are long gone. You must tailor each resume to meet the qualifications of the positions you seek. Read the job posts carefully and customize your resume to show how your competencies and accomplishments make you the best choice.
Resume Rule #3: Focus on the Keywords
You’ll want to “key in” on the keywords for a couple of reasons. First, keywords are a great indicator of the search terms that are plugged into the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) of the companies that you’re pursuing. You have to get past the sorts of the ATS machines before a human looks at your resume.
A more important reason to analyze the keywords is to define exactly how your accomplishments fit the qualifications. Mapping keywords to your accomplishments is a good way to align your resume with the attributes that the hiring company desires. Incorporating job description keywords into your accomplishment descriptions signals employers that you’re a close match, using their own words.
Resume Rule #4: Obsess on the First Impression
Think “above the fold.” It takes 15 seconds for an HR professional to scan your resume and decide if you get an interview. They’ll look more closely at the opening descriptions than the rest of the page. If they don’t see an instant fit, you’re disqualified.
At the top of your resume, create a tailored profile or summary of qualifications that relate directly to the job requirements. You may also want to include a list of skills and competencies or a “highlights” list of relevant achievements. If it’s not relevant, leave it out.
Resume Rule #5: Accomplishments, not Descriptions
Employers don’t care what was expected in your last job. They want to know what you did. Decisions are made on the assumption that prior experiences will indicate future behavior. Providing details of your accomplishments reinforces your qualifications for the position. Numbers and results are much more effective than job descriptions.
Resume Rule #6: Set up the Interview
Short narratives that describe a challenge, the context, your actions, and results achieved not only illustrate your accomplishments, they also set the stage for the interview. When you write, think about what might provoke a question that starts, “Could you tell us more about?”
Resume Rule #7: Find a Good Editor
Ironically, HR professionals aren’t usually bothered by the sentence fragments and bullet points that are typical in resumes; but many can be characterized as “spelling Nazis.” Proofread and proofread again. Use the old printer’s trick of reading the document backwards. Better yet, find an English teacher friend who can read for context and spelling and let you know when your language or your ideas aren’t clear.
Final Tip: Hire A Developer
At CareerPro Global, we’re sure that sticking to these 7 rules for writing a resume will improve your prospects for the interviews and the job you want. At the same time, we understand that the task of writing customized and effective resumes isn’t for everyone. We can help. Think of us as professional developers for your killer app resume.
Since 1986, Career Pro Global has provide career coaching and corporate resumes for literally thousands of job seekers like you. We’re justifiably proud of the 99.6% approval rate we’ve earned from our clients. If you’d like to learn more, we hope you’ll schedule a free career consultation.
Barbara Adams is the founder and CEO of CareerPro Global, Inc. and has led the company since 1990. She is recognized as one of the pioneers in the career services industry and a titan of the resume writing industry. Barbara has built CPG into one of the largest and fastest-growing premier career services organizations industry-wide. She is committed to CPG’s core factors that include quality product, exceptional customer service, a successful proven process, and taking care of her people. Barbara has Co-Authored numerous books, including:
Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service
Roadmap to Becoming an Administrative Law Judge
Job-Winning Military to Civilian Resumes
Roadmap to Federal Jobs
She also co-authored the certification requirements for the Master Military Resume Writer (MMRW) and the Master Federal Career Advisor and Trainer (MFCA-T) certifications.