Even though writing a resume sounds simple—just write down your education details and work experience—it can be intimidating and even stressful. But just why is it so hard? This article will explore three of the main reasons that make resume writing a challenge. If you’re struggling, consider creating a resume on Jobseeker. The professional resume creation tool will walk you through the steps and provide a library of professional resume layouts.
It’s Difficult to Write About Yourself
Most people are taught as children that it’s impolite to brag, so writing a resume that highlights how great you are can feel awkward and unfamiliar. It is also ingrained in many people to humbly understate their accomplishments under the guise of “just doing my job.”
However, it’s important to think objectively about your skills and give yourself the credit you deserve. It can help to make a master list of every notable or impressive thing you can think of that you’ve done in your career, and ask trusted colleagues or mentors to help you brainstorm. Then when you are ready to apply for a job, you can select the most relevant accomplishments in order to tailor your resume effectively to the position.
You Need to Write for Both Machines and People
Many employers use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) to perform an initial scan of candidates before a human even lays eyes on your resume. So, not only do you need to write a compelling resume that will catch the hiring manager’s attention, but you also need to optimize your resume for ATS scans in order to even be considered. This can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t familiar with how ATS scans work or if writing isn’t your strong suit.
To pass an ATS scan, it’s essential to tailor your resume to each position. As mentioned in the previous section, selecting key accomplishments to highlight on your resume is a great way to start. Additionally, be sure to read the job posting carefully to identify the key words and phrases that the employer uses to describe what they are looking for. Then use that same language in your resume and address as many of the desired characteristics as you can.
To appeal to a human hiring manager, write a powerful resume summary that condenses your whole resume into a short paragraph placed just under your name and contact information. This is designed to catch the reader’s attention and convince them to continue reading the rest of your resume.
Careers Aren’t Always Groundbreaking or Thrilling
Finally, let’s face it—not all careers are super exciting and not all roles allow for innovation or massive accomplishments. It can feel impossible to make your 10-year career as an accountant seem exciting, but hiring managers aren’t necessarily expecting you to have changed the world.
Rather, focus on the small things that you have done throughout the span of your career that have made things easier, more efficient, or saved the company time and/or money. Think outside the box in terms of achievements and know that consistency and loyalty is often just as valuable as flashier accomplishments.