Questions Your Resume Needs to Answer By Itself

Your resume has one and only one purpose—get you to the next stage of the interview process.

If you expect your resume to get you the job, you’ll be in for a huge disappointment.

Here are the key questions your resume needs to answer by itself.

Can You Do the Job?

The first question your resume needs to answer is “can you do the job?”

If your resume doesn’t answer this, do you think you will move to the next step?

“Well, they should still invite me.”

Should. But that’s not how the world works. You’re not that special

Together with your application are hundreds of resumes all competing for a single job. Companies can’t accept everyone because interviewing is costly and time-consuming.

If you want to move to the next step, you’ve got to make it easy for them to do their job.

The way to do this is not to include your vague career objectives or hobbies as what you’d normally find on other websites.

The best way to do that is to tailor your resume to match the job description. Show them that you have the skills and experience and results to do the job.

If they are looking for content writers, highlight the articles you published on your website, or on a clients’ site.

Fresh from school? Highlight your own blog or those articles that got published in your school paper.

Looking to get a sales job? Focus on how you increased revenues or retained customers.

No sales experience? What about that time you convinced your parents to buy you your own car? Or stood in front of the entire school on a debate? Those “stuff” all demonstrate the skills needed in sales—persuasion.

The examples above all answer the question of whether or not you can do the job. Your hobbies, colorful fonts, and those cute icons don’t. So stop using them.

Can You Do It Well?

The next question your resume needs to answer is “can you do the job well?”

The first question is a qualifier. Even if you can do it but your resume didn’t demonstrate that, the hiring company will not have any benefit for moving forward with your application.

This question, on the other hand, is what separates those who simply meet the minimum requirements.

At the end of the day, companies want the best of the best. They won’t just hire anyone who can do the job. They want someone who can excel. they want someone who can exceed their expectations.

While there is no way you can predict whether someone can contribute greatly to a role, there is one proxy companies use: previous results.

To put it simply—Results are aggregated behavior. Your individual actions, cumulatively, make up results.

Again, results are different for everyone. This is a fundamental truth in professional life.

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

That is why your resume has to communicate your results. But not just any result. It has to be relevant to the role you’re applying for. The results have to matter to the hiring company. Not just to you.

The best way to demonstrate this on your resume is actual numbers or percentages.

Go back to the examples earlier. It only shows that you have the skills or experience for it. But if you add results that matters to companies, here’s how it may like:

  • Content writer—show the results you got from publishing those work.
    • Increased Organic website traffic from 1k/mo. to 3.5k/mo. by publishing well-researched blog posts weekly
    • Improved lead conversion by 15% by re-writing copy on key landing pages
  • Sales—how did the company benefit from what you did
    • Brought in additional $15k monthly recurring revenues using the feel-felt-found strategy
    • Maintained 100% customer retention/renewal for three years straight by proactive communication and reporting

If you are the hiring company reading a resume like this, won’t you get excited to invite them for an interview?

Now look at the other resumes with their fancy colors and fonts and other fluff.

See the difference?

Not an Autobiography

By definition, your resume distills your professional experience. It’s not meant to be comprehensive nor does it have to tell a story.

Your resume is not an autobiography.

That is why it follows certain rules and must provide the answer to the questions companies are looking for when they are hiring.

That is why you don’t have to include your hobbies or certificates or other things that are recommended by other websites.

Those things don’t answer the questions above. So companies don’t care about them.

A good rule of thumb is one page for every 10-15 years of professional life.

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