Resurrecting the perfect resume, part one

Is your resume dead? Do not rush to say: “No way!” Of the hundreds of resumes I’ve seen written by job seekers of all backgrounds and educational levels, easily 95% qualify to be labeled dead but not yet buried. A dead resume lacks a clear structure or timeline, does not present or quantify accomplishments, does not provide a “big picture” of what you would bring to the employer, and is more impersonal than expressive. Worse still, a dead resume fails to get the response you expect from the employer: an invitation for a job interview. To win more job interviews and dramatically increase the quality of opportunities your resume can help you attract, pare your resume down to the basics and resurrect it using the same techniques professional resume writers use to reposition job applicants whose own Job search campaigns have not yielded results. the results they need. Problem #1: The resume lacks structure
You cannot create a resume without first creating a structure for it. Resumes are complicated documents that include different types of information that they communicate to different types of readers. If your resume is poorly structured, it won’t make sense to the reader; he or she will simply discard your resume and move on to the next in the stack, counting themselves lucky to even receive a rejection letter. Solution #1: Create a strong skeleton for your resume

  • Be as specific as possible in the content you want to communicate.
  • Match your content to the job you are applying for and the industry you want to enter.
  • Avoid jargon but be sure to use industry specific keywords.
  • Organize and sequence all your dates and details. You didn’t edit, then write, then start; you started, then wrote and then edited.
  • List the dates chronologically but in reverse order.
  • Combine similar skills.
  • Choose a resume style (mix of chronological, functional, and skill-based) that highlights your accomplishments.
  • Number the sections of the resume with the most important section first, the least important section last, and all other sections in their proper place between those two poles. Education should rarely come first unless you are looking for a job in academia or in a field where education is paramount, such as medicine.
  • Be consistent in the way you record information. Begin bulleted sentences and sentences with the same parts of speech. Provide the same level of detail in all sections of the resume. Use the first person for verbs, not the second. It is inappropriate to refer to yourself in the second person as someone else: “Resolves customer complaints promptly” actually means “Mary resolves customer complaints promptly.” To imply “I resolve customer complaints promptly,” say “I resolve customer complaints promptly.”
  • Double check all your details. Edit your resume at least three times yourself, then invite other experts to edit it too. Then edit it again, this time reading the entire document backwards, word for word. Don’t trust spell checkers to do this for you, they are as thorough as you are!

Problem #2: The resume contains no substance Many job seekers write a resume with structure but no substance, with a skeleton but no muscles. Remember that your resume is your brochure; Their job is to highlight your best qualities and credentials, downplay your weaknesses, and sell the reader the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčinterviewing you. To achieve this, you need to overlay specific details and examples on key sections of your resume. Solution #2: Layer Achievement Muscles in Your Resume Skeleton

  • Highlight the most vital points.
  • Add deeper levels of detail; express clearly and succinctly.
  • Tell success stories with brevity and power.
  • Make every word count.
  • Use graphics and bold, underlined, or italics to draw your readers’ attention to what you want them to read the most.
  • Describe the results and results to sell your highest level of achievement.
  • Apply technical journalism to craft powerful success stories. What did you do? How did you do it? Because? With and for whom? Where? When? What results did you achieve? Answer these questions fully on a separate piece of paper, then edit your story down to 1-2 sentences and insert it into your resume. Use the original expanded version of your story to verbally share with employers in interviews.
  • It characterizes all numbers in their most powerful and realistic form. Let’s say you were a cashier at a grocery store and closed your record with an average of $1,000 per day. Let’s also say you worked five days a week. Multiply that $1,000 by five days a week and it becomes $5,000 a week; or $20,000 per month, if you prefer.
  • Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and anticipate their questions, concerns and objections. Be honest in your assessment of your weaknesses and proactive in your defense against questions about them. If you know you lack specific experience, do your best to translate your experience into language and skill sets that a potential employer will want to hear.
  • What assumptions are you afraid an employer will make about you? What are you too old? Very young? Inexperienced? Overqualified? Build curriculum muscles on these specific topics by challenging assumptions before they can be raised.
  • Use action verbs and concrete, quantifiable nouns. Avoid passive verbs. Use verbs that communicate with your reader’s senses and create the impression of action.
  • Avoid vague terms like “several”, “many” and “some”; try specific numbers or number ranges instead.
  • Choose verbs and nouns that demonstrate the highest level of skill you have reached.

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