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March 2, 2018

5 Things Every Resume Should Say -- And 3 Things They Shouldn't

This post originally appeared at as a guest blog for a careers firm that is entirely focused on SAP staffing. It became their most-read blog from 2017.

What matters to SAP recruiters and hiring managers? What do you know of SAP technology and how well do you know it? Ultimately, it’s your case to make, but here are five ideas for doing so in the most compelling way – as well as a few pitfalls to avoid along the way.

  1. How many years of SAP experience do you have? Numbers are your friends. If they’re impressive, let them speak for themselves. Not so impressive yet? Keep reading for other ideas on how best to position yourself.
  2. Have you covered all of your SAP training? This certainly includes certifications, but also include training courses that may have been provided by an employer. If it’s SAP training and you’ve completed it, accept the credit you’ve earned. Also, recent training indicates the freshness of your skills. We suggest beginning with the most recently completed.
  3. What SAP technologies / modules do you know? You’ve likely touched on this with your certifications and training, but redundancy is a great thing. Clearly state what SAP modules you’ve done and/or been trained to do.
  4. What vertical industries do you know? The business processes you’re automating with SAP are typically specialized by industry, so if you’re targeting a specific role and you have relevant industry experience, spell it out as clearly as you can. If you don’t, consider breaking it down by business process instead. If you’ve worked on invoicing in retail but not manufacturing, for example, go after that manufacturing role by focusing on the positive: you’re an expert at invoicing.
  5. What sort of project experience do you have? Consider the nature of those SAP projects themselves. Were they long or short term? Upgrades or new implementation? Was it a new SAP customer or a long standing one? The best thing it to have experience that aligns directly with what you know a hiring manager wants. Otherwise, focus on a diversity of experience.
What’s important is the positive: “what do you know of SAP technology and how well do you know it?” But we can’t let this pass without sharing just three things to avoid.
  1. Photos. Just don’t. If you’re applying in the US, for example, a photo is a great way to ensure your resume is taped above the office photocopier and subjected to laughter by passersby. (Sorry – they just look funny.) More importantly, the hiring manager should be influenced by what you can do – not how you appear. Leave your photo on your LinkedIn or Xing profile, and lead with your qualifications on your resume.
  2. Don’t share your age. What matters is the duration of your experience, not your life. The best numbers to use on a resume are your years of hard-won experience – and your phone number.
  3. No personal pursuits such as hobbies, religious persuasion, or politics. Stick to the facts and let them do the work for you. But do include personal qualifications that could be a powerful asset – such as fluency in multiple languages.
Your resume is just one step – often the crucial first step – in the overall process of selling a potential employer on you. You’ll have plenty of chances – such as phone calls and face-to-face interviews – to loosen up a bit and demonstrate what a well-rounded and socially engaged person you are.

SAP opportunities are growing and diversifying. Sell your valuable SAP skills and experience and you’ll do wonderfully. And make sure you’re listed in RED’s database of global SAP professionals. We’ll help you do even better. Just drop us a note. 

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