Many candidates make the mistake of treating their resume as solely a summary of their professional background. Your resume is much more than what you bring to the table. Your resume represents a demonstration of your skills, abilities and business acumen.
Do you realize that your resume is the first work product you provide to a potential employer? This is why employers are turned off when they see typos, poorly constructed sentences and inconsistent formatting. Most professions require you to have strong communication skills. Therefore, it is critical that your resume demonstrates your ability to present important information clearly, concisely, and professionally.
Don’t have an eye for aesthetics or the wordsmith mastery of a professional writer? Seek the help of a resume expert or take the time to study professionally written resumes.
Take a hard look at your resume and ask yourself whether it truly represents the quality of the work you will do for a new company. Is it customized for the position you are applying for? If so, it shows you are going above and beyond – which is exactly what an employer wants to see in your very first work product.
Your resume is an indicator of how savvy you really are in technology. If you don’t know Word very well, it will be obvious by your resume. Your resume shows the employer how strong your basic computer skills are. Employers expect candidates to have solid skills in basic programs like Word. If you need to develop skills in this area, check out www.lynda.com for tutorials in a wide variety of software programs.
If your career involves design, communication or presentation, your resume will show your level of talent in those areas. Does your resume look good? Read easily? Is it well written? Remember, this is the first sample of your work that the employer is seeing.
If your resume has long sentences, big blocks of dense text, small margins and excessive use of italics, they won’t have much faith in your ability to communicate effectively and professionally.
Your resume is an executive summary. Craft your resume with the assumption that a senior executive (or a recruiter with 30 seconds) will be reading it. Don’t write your resume as a series of past job descriptions. Avoid the temptation to show the entire scope of what you’ve done over your career.
Employers aren’t impressed by the scope of what you’ve done; they are impressed by the relevance of what you’ve done. Eliminate fluff, obvious details, and anything totally unrelated to the needs of the company or position. Don’t tell the whole story; keep the details relevant (and save something to discuss in the interview).
Too much detail and fluff distracts the reader from catching your key selling points. A few missing details may be exactly what is needed to prompt a phone call to learn more about you – which is exactly the result you want.
Many people wonder why nothing happens after they send out a slew of resumes. Take a moment and assess your resume against these considerations. The resume says quite a bit about you as a candidate, so make sure it demonstrates what you truly bring to the table.
Something happened this morning that triggered an old aggravation, hitting a long forgotten raw spot. This event hit me deeply. Normally, I roll with things, but not this time. It stuck with me.
My “out of character” reaction tipped me off. I could see why I cared, but why did I care SO much? Because my reaction wasn’t about what happened today; it had roots in something else, something long unresolved. This was the moment to figure out what that was.
I took my laptop to the patio and I began writing: “How do I REALLY feel about this situation?” And then without stopping, I wrote whatever came to mind. I typed and typed and typed – venting, whining, bemoaning, blandly commenting on how I had no idea what else to write – then pondering and musing my way toward what would hopefully become a breakthrough.
And then it hit me. I got a major “a-ha”. It hit me so hard that I stopped typing and went “oh…”. This realization changed everything. Immediately shifted my energy. And it also gave me an insight on what my next action step was for the issue I was facing.
I use this process whenever I need to get to the root of something.
I use it to make decisions, “How do I REALLY feel about this career path (or job)”.
I use it to get insights and clarity “How do I REALLY feel about my friendship with Susie?”.
And I use it when I feel blocked, “How do I REALLY feel about finishing this project?”.
The word “really” is in all caps to urge me to write openly and honestly – totally uncensored! I can always delete the file or burn the paper later.
The key is to write until you get hit with a big epiphany. One that is big enough that it gives you a major “a-ha” or “oh….” That’s how you know you are getting to the root. There might be a few epiphanies waiting for you, so don’t always stop at the first one…