Most job seekers view their resume as their life’s story or history, which in most cases is incorrect. Most of the thousands of resumes I have had the opportunity to view, review and edit are too long and often bear little or no resemblance to what is being asked for in the job description. Absolutely, too many words in search of an idea.
As the old saying goes “short and sweat” could well be your guide. Think of your resume as your Sales Brochure, not just the listing of your experiences with few or no results. Your resume aka Sales Brochure needs to mirror the key requirements in the job description. This is critical, and it has been my experience that to make it past the Applicant Tracking System, your resume aka Sales Brochure needs to have 80/85% of the key requirements or you be seriously considered.
Like those annoying ads we see on television or internet, our documents need to be a call to action and using their words which are familiar coupled with action results encourages the reader to want to take the next steps. A targeted and focused introductions is much more effective than a too long lacking focus obituary.
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All too often I see a real lack of understanding of the effective use of these important documents. Understanding the purpose, use and integration with each other is vital for achieving positive results. They are not, nor should be, a regurgitation of your jobs, titles, experiences, and other past information looking backwards with few if any positive results.
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In my opinion, it is critical that you understand that these documents are your Sales Brochures and need to be targeted/focused with your features and benefits. Highlighting your successes, achievements and results is important so you potentially can stand out from the other candidates and receive positive consideration.
Integrating your cover letter and resume is very important. Your cover letter plays the role of introducing yourself and resume, while your resume becomes your targeted Sales Brochure. Your cover letter is really building the bridge “I have what you need” “I am what you want” type of statements that are important in moving the reader to your resume aka Sales Brochure.
Mirroring back the key issues contained in the job description in both your cover letter and Sales Brochure dramatically increases the potential of making it through the Applicant Tracking System and makes it so much easier for the human reader to see and feel you have what they are looking for in the 10-15 seconds generally given to resume reviews.
Bottom line, it is your responsibility to tell the world how wonderful you are and using the matrix of what, how and results allows you to do so with credibility.
In most situations, sending in resumes into the electronic black hole will be used to “deselect” you, not “select” you.
There is a pervasive and overwhelming believe that all you need to know and find regarding job searching is on the Internet. Not true!
First, while the Internet offers so much to so many, please keep in mind that it is a big, paid unregulated ad, especially so when it comes to job postings. Be a thoughtful, careful, and realistic consumer. Based on my 39 years as a career coach, maybe 3% of submitted online resumes result in being offered the advertised job. But why?
Bottom line, 80/85% of my wonderful clients are finding or creating new and rewarding employment opportunities via personal referrals or advocates. Yes, we are country of laws, rules, and regulations, but in the end, it is people hiring people they are comfortable with and almost impossible to create this via the Internet.
Getting around this involves having a balanced, realistic, and doable plan of action that focuses first on in-person networking with like-minded people you know who will be much more likely to put their thinking caps on for you whereas strangers not so much. Being focused on what you are looking for allowing others to help you more effectively.
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Most resumes look like historical documents or obituaries rather than sales or marketing brochures.
95% of the resumes I see are backward looking listing of titles and experiences. Few if any, tout successes, achievements, and results. Resumes with the potential for success are focused and targeted looking forward and supported by the added value past and future.
Less is more when resumes are focused to the key words contained in the job description. Their words are much more important than yours. In my opinion, your resumes need to speak directly to 80/85% of the key requirements in the job description. Anything less and you will probably not be considered.
I would have you strategically incorporate using the “I” word. Lots of debate here, but keep in mind your resume aka sales brochure is all about you. We, they, them, and us is not applying. At the very least, please try writing in the first person.
Whenever possible using the word “results” followed by numbers and/or percentages further highlights you contributions.
Finally, your resume/sales brochure highly focused and needs to catch the eye of the reader in 10 to 15 seconds, so being too wordy will generally work against you. This is your sales brochure, not your life story.
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There is no such thing as a perfect resume, except in the eye of the beholder.
I most cases, unless you know the person asking for your resume, know firsthand what they really want it for, what specifically they want your resume to focus on, what layout/format works best for them, samples of your work, copies of work evaluations and letters of reference …. blindly sending in your resume to the electronic black hole will generally produce results somewhere between slim and none.
Taking your unique gifts, talents and interests seriously, putting most of your search energy into in-person networking with people you know will both make the process of finding or creating a new and rewarding employment opportunity more enjoyable and successful too.
While there are no “absolutes” in finding meaningful work, having a realistic doable plan of action being more people centric than over focusing on the Internet. The proof … in my 39 years of career coaching 9,000+ individual clients, 80/85% have found new jobs putting smiles on their faces and money in the bank via personal referrals and/or advocates.
I fully understand and support the laws, rules, regulations and the social pressures we live with today. But please keep in mind, when the hiring person sifts through these, in the end, they are more likely to hire someone they are comfortable with, so it is imperative that the job seeker become known and not be a stranger.
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