Monday, April 4, 2011

Use a Resume as an Advertisement!

The key to getting a job is accepting that you need to market and sell yourself. So, your resume needs to sell the benefits of hiring you. Think of it as an advertisement about you.

Here are some pointers to help you develop a resume that should serve as a good advertisement for you.
  1. Match your resume’s titles or headings to the jobs you are pursuing.   
  2. Include content that sells your skills and abilities. Don’t write “Managed company strategy.” Instead write “Fashioned strategy driving XYZ Company to Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies List in 2009.” See the difference?
  3. Wordsmith your resume. Use words that provide vivid images of your previous responsibilities. Don’t make generic statements. Be specific. Instead of “Gave out daily assignments to staff,” write “Assigned, directed and supervised daily writing assignments for editorial staff.” 
  4. Use clue words from the job description as your skills heading. Read the job description carefully and pull out significant descriptive words as skills headings. 
  5. Recognize and anticipate the essentials that your prospective job will require but that are not listed and show that you can also fulfill those needs.
  6. Don’t just list your past duties and responsibilities, sell or show how your abilities can benefit the company.  Let’s go back to #3 and the management strategy statement. Instead of “Managed Company Strategy,” how about “Implemented image makeover with new marketing materials and Web site that grew revenues 535%.”
  7. Always lead with the most impressive information about you that is relevant to the job you seek. 
  8. Present images that will capture your targeted salary.  
  9. Always customize your resume and cover letters to address the specific skills each prospective employer wants. 
  10. Proofread and eliminate all spelling and grammatical errors. Use strong action verbs. Avoid repetition. Don’t use personal pronouns, especially “I.” Maintain the same grammatical style throughout the resume. Never describe yourself with words like “the best” or “excellent.” Be accurate and honest.
  11. Put your name and all contact information at the top of a resume. For an interview resume that contains a second page, repeat your name at the top.
  12. For miscellaneous do’s and don’ts, include your degrees and the classes that are relevant to the work you seek, but don’t provide an extensive list of classes. If you have a college degree, don’t include your high school information. Don’t include personal information, like your age, health or marital status, hobbies, religious or political affiliations, etc. Don’t include your salary expectations.
  13. Contact your references and have them ready, but don’t include them on your resume. 
  14. Make your resume scanner-friendly. Do a search on Google to learn more about it. 
  15. Use fonts, like Time New Roman or Arial, because they are the most readable.
  16. Use 8 ½ x 11 quality paper printed on one side. 
  17. Always have your resume reviewed by an expert resume editor. 
Carol McKibben

"Carol is a former magazine and technology executive, she has had more than 20 years experience hiring and managing countless employees."

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