Rethinking Your Resume

Rethinking Your Resume

Greetings, dear blog readers! Two weeks ago, I started a thread entitled “Let’s Take a Different Approach to How We Think About Resumes.” Let’s continue that thread today.

The previous blog focused on the first question I ask prospective clients: How are you utilizing your resume, and what results are you getting?

The second question I ask prospective clients is this: What are the three primary messages you want the reader to get from your resume?

Here’s what I hear from many people: “I want them to know I’ve been in ____field for ___years, and that I have a ____degree…”

Blah, blah, blah.

That’s information that must be on your resume, but it isn’t your message.

Here are some messages you might want the reader to get from your resume:

  • I have consistently exceeded sales goals despite economic downturns, organizational change, or inheriting under-performing territories—I will be successful no matter what circumstances I face.”
  • I have an optimal blend of analytical and interpersonal skills to lead a human resources team with a constant focus on organizational goals and bottom-line results.”
  • I have built brand recognition for a variety of products including consumer product goods, healthcare, and B2B industrial products—I understand the process of marketing and can apply that knowledge with any tangible product.

Get the idea? These are overarching themes that should be jumping off the page.

I’m really talking about your BRAND.

Many people haven’t taken the time to really think about their brand. It’s of critical importance that you do so prior to embarking on your job search, because otherwise you can’t adequately express what makes you stand out from your competition.

Here’s an analogy: If you went to a car dealership and asked the salesperson about a particular vehicle you were interested in, how would you react if he or she told you the car had four tires, a steering wheel, and an engine?

The salesperson hasn’t differentiated that vehicle from any other on the planet. You want to know about fuel efficiency, safety features, reliability, technology, etc.

You want to know the specifics so you can make a buying decision.

It’s the same with prospective employers. They need to know what differentiates you from the competition so they can make a buying decision.

The buying decision you want the employer to make from reviewing your resume is to schedule an interview with you.

## Here are some tips for uncovering your brand:

  • What am I consistently asked to do at work?
  • What feedback do I consistently hear from superiors, colleagues, clients?
  • What activities do I engage in at work where I lose track of time and become completely absorbed?
  • When I think about the successes of my career, what are the underlying skills I utilized?
  • Picture a perfect day at work. What does it look like, and what does that say about me?

Next week, we’ll talk about the third question I ask prospective employers…stay tuned!

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