The Write Way To Get The Job You Want
by Heather Eagar
All job seekers ultimately ask one basic question - “Why do I need a good resume?” The answer is simple. You need a good resume to market yourself, have a written record of your skills and accomplishments and to sow the seeds of interest in the minds of recruiters and potential employers. In short, if you want a rewarding, fulfilling career, you need a good resume.
A Good Resume Evolves From Your Credentials and Not From Writing Skills
How very true! But of late, this fact seems to have moved to the background. Yes, with good resume writing skills you can really project your skills. However, realize that you have to have good, marketable skills and credentials – and no one, not even a resume writer, knows them better than you do. So, if you are writing your own resume, how do really make yours stand out from the crowd?
There are 3 principles of writing a good resume that holds true for nearly everyone, yet not everyone follows them (though everyone should). I call them “radical steps”, because landing a job (a good job) sometimes requires new, radical techniques.
Radical Step #1: You Can’t Have A Single Resume for Multiple Job Targets
You must have noticed that within a single field, there are many skills required even though the core needs of employers remain the same. Let’s simplify this. Let’s say that an accountant’s job description remains same across industry segments at the core. Still, there are varying degrees of ‘desirable/preferable’ qualifications across different sectors. More often than not, this plays a major role in selecting a suitable candidate.
So here is a suggestion: keep your standard resume the same while making room for accommodating different requirements. Your resume should never be so inflexible that you can’t apply minor changes when need be.
Radical Step #2: Your Resume Must Make Sense To The Reader
This may seem apparent, but it is not always followed, sometimes inadvertently. The fact is that an awkward resume can be fatal to your job search (or a resume that appears awkward to an employer). Of course, neatness is of the utmost importance, but common mistakes such as writing personal goals in the “objectives” section and overstating your qualifications (especially when you are applying for junior to middle positions) can leave an awkward impression in the mind of the reader. In order to have your resume make sense to the reader, you must make sure that you format your resume using an uncluttered, logical layout that highlights the following:
1. Core competencies
2. Work experience in reverse chronology
3. One core accomplishment that stands out and why
4. Educational qualifications
It goes without saying that you should proofread your resume when finished. Then have someone else do so. Two of the unforgivable sins of resume writing are spelling mistakes and typos.
Radical Step #3: Make Clear Your Value To An Organization
Make no mistake; when you write your resume, you are absolutely marketing and selling yourself. As with marketing any product, you need to impress upon the reader the value of the product (that’s you!) and why they should buy it (hire you). The sad fact is that too many resumes just don’t do this. Writing a generic description of your duties and job titles isn’t going to cut it. You have to make clear what the organization will get out of hiring you. For example, if the position is for a marketing manager, you can highlight your sales abilities by including relevant, specific facts (think numbers, percentages and sales targets).
The crucial key to remember when writing (or editing) your resume – hence the 3 steps above - is to tailor it to the job that you are searching for. You can’t hit the bull’s eye without targeting it.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end. If you need resume examples and tools, go to http://www.NothingbutResumes.com
Are you guilty of sabotaging your own job search along with the opportunity to earn more money? Heather Eagar, a former professional resume writer and creator of ResumeLines.com, provides reviews of the top resume writing services that puts you in charge of your career so you can get the job you deserve. Sign-up for your free Job Search Tips E-Course.