Take Your Resume From Blah to Wow
When creating a resume it’s important to look at the document as a branding tool, written to a specific audience (the employer) and it must capture the attention of the reader to achieve the goal of getting an interview. In today’s market, content remains the king and content drives strategy, which includes the look, keywords, achievements and duties associated with your work.
Create your story and your value proposition with Wow! tips from Valonda’s interview with John M. O’Connor of Career Pro Inc. on My Carolina Today.
Paint an appropriate picture of yourself, your capabilities, your desire and your character matter. Resumes matter and your ability to interview with your employer of choice require creative thinking and bold action. You don’t have to use visual graffiti to get your point across but you need to bring your background to life and market yourself. Employers want people who stand out and will make a difference for THEM!
Everyone seems to have an opinion about resumes, how to express content and what to do. There are dry, boring one page resumes and today you can render your resume like a graphic designer might render a web page. Resumes can be tweets of 140 characters or biographical elements you design into LinkedIn. In fact all of social media may contain information that could be interpreted as your resume. Conflicting opinions abound with conventional wisdom and ideas. Should a resume be one page? Should I include visual prompts or color? Do I use a functional or chronological style?
In today’s competitive job market the way to win interviews and wow readers is to take conventional wisdom and shift it by being bold, specific and confident.
Conventional wisdom says a one-page resume should be the goal. Employers want to know What You Know, How You Think and What You Have Done. As resumes go into online databases like LinkedIn they can come out to multiple pages. When adding your resume to the many online databases content sometimes dictates and pushes your core resume beyond the bounds of a conventional one-page format. Don’t be afraid to go against the convention and formula espousers to show how you have Driven Revenue, Saved the Company or Organization Money or made each place that you worked, interned or volunteered More Efficient.
Age old convention says to use a general objective. To wow readers and potential audiences, create a powerful, specific Positioning Statement that utilizes Keywords and Phrases that the employer wants to hear and see. This tactic lets the reader or employer know you are applying for and specifically catering your resume for the job at hand. It removes in the readers mind any doubt that you are specifically marketing yourself toward their advertised position.
Conventional wisdom says to use general, succinct language as you describe your job and your key responsibilities. In today’s market employers and recruiters expect you to use a blend of powerful language to describe how you faced a Challenge, participated in the Actions and helped you or your team drive Results. Think about each activity that you did in your career and think about the problems you faced, helped solve and the achievements that resulted.
Remember — in a resume everything you have done counts, whether you have Gaps in Employment, did Volunteer Activities or are Returning to Work. Look for those part-time, small projects. Find out and build up everything you have done to get the potential employer’s attention.