Archive for August, 2007

Resume Rescue.

August 25, 2007

We get a lot of requests to look over resumes, from people who haven’t put one together in years.  This is okay, because a person who hasn’t kept their resume updated is usually a happy employee.  But we also see a lot of resumes from people who might do well to ask for some editing assistance, but don’t, for whatever reason. 

The bare fact is, if you are here or at our website, then you are in advertising.  You are a marketer.  You must look at your resume as a tool for marketing Product You.  If you can’t market yourself as a product, you can’t market someone else’s product either.  Your resume is not merely a document which states where you’ve been and how long you stayed there.  It is the first impression toward selling a hiring authority on what you can do to solve their pain.  This  is the starting point to putting together an effective resume.

Generally our clients want to see chronological career advancement, specific skills, accomplishments, and quantifiable results.  They want to know exactly what your strategic strengths are.  They want to know how you concept creative communication solutions.  There are a lot of people out there, but what sets you apart from the rest?

Of course, a lot depends on the type of job search you are conducting.  If you are laid off or out of a job for some reason, then waiting for the perfect job to come along may not be an option.  In that case a broader resume is definitely better, as long as you’re not trying to sell yourself as an expert in areas you don’t have much actual experience. 

I am generally not a fan of skill summaries at the top of a resume, for a few reasons.  First, many people mistakenly belief this is the place they announce how good they are.   We see a lot of resumes which say: “Excellent team leader” and “Self-starter”, or “Top-notch strategic skills.”  This is not for you to say, it’s like clapping for yourself when receiving an award.  An employer doesn’t care how good you think you are.  They want to know what your strengths are.  Yes, bragging a little bit is good in a resume, but don’t draw conclusionary statements from the information you provide.  Instead of saying  “I’m an excellent team leader,” offer a case study of that time in which you led a pitch team and won the new business account.  Offer an eye-catching headline statement, then tell the story.  If the skill set is communicated, the reader will draw their own conclusions.  Leave out the flourishing statements -let your references do that.