Nowadays landing a job interview can seem like it requires a mastery in networking or just plain luck. In reality, there is an art to crafting a resume that helps get you noticed, leaves the perfect first impression, and lands you the interview you’ve been hoping for.
Whether you’re a finance veteran to the nonprofit space or an accountant entering the sector by way of the for-profit world, you can improve your chances of getting hired by investing a little sweat equity into polishing up your resume with these five tips:
- Redefine your objective: Start your resume with a profile instead of the usual objective statement or summary of qualifications. Do an honest assessment of your skills, capabilities, and motivations. Think about what makes you tick, what your past experiences say about you, how others would describe you and/or your work, and where your key competencies lie, then, outline them and cull them together into a two-sentence introduction. This may seem arduous at first and will likely require a few iterations but it helps turn you from a name on a piece of paper to a legitimate applicant.
- Identify specific achievements: Within each past job experience recount and highlight select accomplishments during your time at that particular organization or company. Take this as an opportunity to also streamline your qualifications and connect them to real, quantifiable results. This can include things like successfully implementing new software systems, identifying new processes, designing special reports for key stakeholders, or specific work that made a positive impact on the organization.
- Finesse, finesse, finesse: Review the job posting again then think about how you would benefit the organization if hired. Reinforce key qualifications you possess through past experiences that match back to what they are looking for. What may be completely irrelevant should be removed, once you land the interview you can expand further on additional capabilities. Don’t forget to include specific software solutions or technology you’ve worked with – this can be key when it comes to expert knowledge of fund accounting.
- Step away and read it again later: Take a break and come back to your final draft a few hours or even a day later, with a fresh take review your resume to ensure it exemplifies who you are and what you bring to the table. Take this time to also double check for typos and grammatical errors – have a friend, spouse, or neighbor review it as well.
- Parlay your resume to Linkedin: This professional social networking site can serve as an extension of your resume. But, don’t just copy and paste your resume here, expand on your qualifications, past achievements, and capabilities. Take advantage of the opportunity to also share your interests by joining groups, connect with peers, and even request recommendations. Finally, include your Linkedin profile URL on your resume with your contact information to share with potential future employers.
One last insider tip – use your cover letter to tell the organization why you want to work for them and explain your same dedication to serving the community, mission, and cause.
With a resume now at the top of the pile you can start thinking about what outfit you’ll wear to the interview.