Is your resume powerful or weak? Strong resumes that get results have one very simple thing in common – they answer the vital question that employers want to know… “Will this person be an asset, or burden?”

Your resume will be read by recruiters, hiring managers and senior-level executives. When they look at your resume, they want to find out one thing – how will you help them solve their corporate problems and areas of weakness?

This is what every resume should clearly demonstrate and yet 95% of resumes (including executive-level) don’t answer that critical question.

That is actually very good news for you! If you rewrite your resume to clearly define your value proposition, you will be a part of the elite 5% and will certainly get more interviews.

So here are the five critical resume writing tips – correctly incorporate all of these into your document, and you will see immediate results.

Rule #1: Tell them what they want to know.

Ditch the objective statement. No one cares what you want, at least not at this point in the process.

Replace the outdated objective statement with a powerful professional summary that clearly demonstrates the value you will add to potential employers.

Hint: You need to show that there is an excellent fit between your skills and the employer’s needs – read those job descriptions in detail. They provide valuable information into what that corporation is looking for.

Rule #2: Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades.

A strong resume will deliver a clear, concise message about the value you bring and that message needs to be directly relevant to your target employers.

It is entirely possible that you will need more than one version of your resume if you are applying for very different functions. A sales resume is an entirely different beast than a project management resume .. don’t try to make a one size fits all document. Stay focused.

This will allow you to demonstrate your value and emphasize expertise that is a direct match to the employer’s needs. Remember that a resume is not a career obituary or laundry list of everything you have ever done – it is a personal marketing piece. Eliminate any information that doesn’t support your focus. Keep the message clear and compelling.

Rule #3: Talk about accomplishments, not just duties. 

A strong resume clearly shows that you add value. Far too many resumes only talk about job responsibilities and that is a huge mistake. Talking about achievements, especially when backed up with numbers – is much more powerful.

Don’t just say you can do something, prove it. If your resume shows that you have increased profits/sales/productivity/ROI and reduced expenses, guess what? You will get interviews.

Rule #4: Context matters.

Always provide context in each position description instead of just listing responsibilities and duties. The reader needs context in order to fully understand and appreciate your achievements.

Instead of saying “Increased productivity by 23%”, say “reversed a six-year productivity decline and increased production by 23% in twelve months”

Now they can truly appreciate the scope of your impact and positive changes. That sort of detail makes them think about all the positive ways you could contribute to their bottom line.

Rule #5: Books ARE judged by their covers.

First impressions are everything, especially with a resume document that often only gets a quick 5-15 second glance the first time over.

The design must be clean, easy to quickly scan and should draw the reader’s eye to the most important information. Use strategic bolding, bullet points and tasteful color to emphasize and reinforce key pieces of information.

Strong resumes get results, weak resumes are ignored.

Writing a quality resume that incorporates personal branding, speaks to the needs of the employers and gets the right kind of attention is not easy. It is not a process that can be rushed, or done quickly.

Follow these five resume writing rules and you will be thrilled with the increased response from recruiters and hiring mangers.

Start with a powerful summary, stick with a clear focus, quantify your accomplishments provide context and a compelling design. Your value will be clearly demonstrated which will make potential employers interested… remember they want to know what’s in it for them.