If you have several years of contract work under your belt, you should consider yourself lucky! All that great experience and broad range of projects have as done so much to help prepare you and qualify you for your next job. It can be challenging to find the right format to communicate all that skill and impact you’ve had over the years, but once you get that down you should be free and clear to land your next big job, right? Not necessarily. The content matters as much (if not more) than the format of your resume. Here are some tips to help you describe the great work you’ve done to date in the best and most impactful way.
Summarize Your Qualifications
Providing prospective employers with a brief overview of your professional qualifications and skills right at the top of your resume is a great way to communicate key information. The format of this can be a bulleted list of skills, training completed, and familiarity with various technologies. But the important thing is that it is a quick delivery of who you are as an employee that will quickly grab the reader’s attention and, so long as your skills meet their needs, put your resume to the top of the pile.
Focus on Skills
Employers are looking for employees with the skills they need to do the job. Make sure your resume delivers on that need and presents your skills, your training, and your experience as the bulk of the document. Once an employer knows you have the skills they need, then they will dig deeper to see how you delivered results and what you are like to work with to make sure that you are a good fit for the position. But the skills section is what will make sure you pass the first glance test. Make sure to include appropriate and relevant work experience and training, and tie every previous work experience back to the job you are applying for.
Quantify your Results
Resumes are all about results, no matter what industry you are in. This is especially true for contract workers. Employers want to read about what you have accomplished for your previous companies, and the best way they can understand that is through numbers. Make sure that you are measuring and communicating your successes in your resume so employers know just what you accomplished. Focus on results in your word choice. Describe your successes in quantifiable detail as much as possible.
Be Smart in Your Word Choices
The key to smart keyword use is to emphasize the skills and qualities that you know the employer is looking for. A job description is a great place to source keywords that they are likely looking for. Don’t overlook the fact that in today’s world of online applications, keywords are probably the single most important aspect of your resume. Including the right ones shows not only your attention to and interest in the position (as opposed to any number of other jobs you might be applying for) but also how good a fit you would be to work with this new prospective team and company. Follow their lead and write your resume specifically for the job.
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