How To Write A Resume That Lands Interviews

How To Write A Resume That Lands Interviews

Talk to anyone in Talent Acquisition or Human Resources and you’ll hear the same thing over and over. “I’m so overwhelmed with candidate submissions but still can’t fill my open positions!” So what gives? Why is it that hiring managers can’t seem to find candidates, but regardless of how many times you submit your resume, you can’t seem to land an interview? What can you do to make an impact?

The secret lies in knowing how to get the attention of hiring managers and HR. Research shows that the average resume is viewed for about 6 seconds by a potential employer! Yikes – that’s fast! If a hiring manager can’t connect to a resume nearly immediately, they move on to the next applicant. To ensure you grab a hiring manager’s attention, target your resume to each and every opportunity you apply to.

How To Create Targeted Resume Content

Writing a targeted resume for each role you are interested in applying to is time consuming. However, when you break it down into bite size pieces, the process is completely manageable.

  • Highlight each desired skill set on the job description that aligns with your unique skills and abilities.
  • Comb through your resume, look for areas where you can include the matching skills you’ve highlighted.
  • When adding content to your resume, focus on mimicking the job description in terms of the key words used.
  • Write your resume content in an accomplishment based format, paying special attention to the key skills and attributes you are targeting to the job description.

After following the steps outlined above, review your resume and look for a quick connect. Is the content aligning to the needs of the position? Are you quickly connecting the dots between your abilities and the needs of the opportunity? If not, dig deeper. Go back to the drawing board until you are able to easily exhibit why you are the best fit for the hiring manager’s needs.

Be Concise

Great resumes not only quickly connect to a hiring manager’s needs, but also limit useless chatter. Attempting to stick to a one-page resume isn’t recommended for most individuals, however, that doesn’t mean you have a license to write a diary of your life.

As you develop bullets and content targeted to an opportunity, always write from an accomplishment based perspective and limit story telling. Focus on adding only relevant information. Simply stating that you perform specific tasks doesn’t show the hiring manager how you’ve impacted the businesses you’ve worked for. Instead, use percentages, dollar amounts and hard facts that speak to not only your abilities, but how your actions have positively impacted the bottom line, driven change and implemented processes improvements.

When you write content in an accomplishment based format, extraneous information is easily left behind because you’re sharing hard facts, not explaining processes. A hiring manager wants to bring someone on board who understands the needs of their open position and can immediately jump in and make an impact. Your resume should reflect that.

Ditch The Resume Template

Keep in mind the primary goal of a targeted resume is to quickly and concisely exhibit why you are an ideal fit for the position you are applying to. Using a generic resume template is a sure way to land in the “no thanks” pile. Put effort into creating a unique resume with a specific branding statement and targeted content; interviews will follow. Remember, your resume isn’t a document to exhibit the tasks you’ve done, but rather market the value you bring to an organization!

Jeanna McGinnis is the founder of ReResumeMe, which is now part of Mentor Happy. Connect with Jeanna and the team at to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!

Jeanna McGinnis

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