In part two of our HR/Payroll resume spring cleaning series we are focusing on both what your resume should include and how it should be crafted. Your content can probably use an overhaul as its not uncommon for candidates to focus on simply describing what happened (what they did) without connecting the dots to how good you are at your job.
Develop a threshold – Your content could probably use a rewrite if each and every bullet does not support the threshold of telling a prospective employer why they should hire YOU. Most often the “why” involves accomplishments, not simply tenure. You advanced the ball, made something better. You didn’t just show up and check the box as an average employee – you rose above the fray.
Quantify your impact – It is not always easy, but when you can tie your accomplishments to money saved or percentage improvements, your claims and your candidacy will carry more gravitas. Dollar signs and percentage quantify your achievements and are indicators of what you will bring to your new position.
Make sure your resume has resonance – Your resume is a spotlight on your relevant strengths to the jobs for which you are applying. Make sure it clearly demonstrates that you have the professional skills and background required to excel in the HR/payroll position(s) you are going after.
Focus – Your resume is not a document to explain why you are changing jobs, why you’ve “job jumped” or even showcase every one of your achievements/awards. Your resume is ONLY effective if it lands an interview. You should be able to do this within two pages, three at the most.
Help the Skimmers – Like it or not, many resumes are screened and others are reviewed by professionals trying to sift through dozens or even hundreds of resumes. Have an area up front that includes:
Professional summary – A sentence or two that captures your background, talents, and ambitions. Remember, this is NOT an Objective (See Part One).
Skills – Your top five or so skills that help you succeed. These should be career appropriate. A new entry to the job market may be fine to put “time management” as a skill but the further you are into your career, the more specific they should be to your role.
Success Summary – Include, in brief, any type of job applicable achievements or recognitions.
Weigh Your Positions Appropriately – You may still be proud of some amazing achievements in 1999, three or four jobs ago… but what have you done lately? Your current and job prior should carry the most weight on your resume, with twice as many bullets as older positions. You are not getting hired because you “killed it” in 2002.
We review resumes every day – and like it or not, it is critical to get yours right. We would be happy to review your own HR/payroll resume or you can visit our new resume building area of our website to get more tips and see examples of resumes we consider well done.