In my last article, I explained the importance of creating a resume that sells you. The first rule of selling anything is to know your product. The product in a job search is you. In my one of my articles, "Effective sales techniques will give you an edge in the current job market - part 2", I explain the details of knowing your product. Although you know yourself well, making you come alive from the page(s) of a resume can be difficult, so this article will offer four guidelines to create a resume that sells you.
1. Instead of using an objective, add a personal philosophy statement or
summarize your strengths.
When putting together resumes we have all been taught to list an objective at the
beginning of the resume. Objectives are okay, but they usually say something like,
to obtain a job at your company, to get a job as a (whatever job they are applying
for) at your company, or to start a career in a field that is related to my experience and
education. Employers know you want the job they are offering and the type of
career you are interested in by the fact that you applied for a particular position.
Don't waste space on your resume stating the obvious. What they want
to know is if you have the knowledge, skills, ability and personality to meet
the needs of the position.
A good way to display your personality is through a personal philosophy. This
statement describes what is important to you in regards to work and the type of
person you are.
Another way is to display your knowledge, skills, and abilities through a summary
of your strength. This can either be in paragraph form or bullet point. This
section summarizes your strengths as they are related to the position. I would
advise you to tailor this summary based on the position you are applying for and
which strengths you have that are related. Word of caution, always be honest
about your strengths, because if you are hired you may be called upon to show your strengths.
2. Try not to use a resume template you just fill in.
Using a resume template makes your résumé look like everyone else's. The goal of your résumé is to sell you as the best candidate. If your résumé looks like everyone else's, the chance of it getting selected out of a pile of 100 plus resumes is slim. However, don't go overboard to stand out. I have seen resumes mailed to me and when I opened the envelop
glitter fell all over my desk. Lets just say those people didn't get a call. The key is to
make your résumé professional, but distinct.
3. Don't just list your job duties from a job description.
If someone just stood in front of you and read their job description, you would probably
fall asleep listening, so why do you think an employer would want to read your
job description. Instead of copying your job description, list the important tasks
you did related to the job you are applying for, list projects you were involved in
and/or led, list some of your accomplishments, list how much money you saved
the company and how you did it.
4. Ask a friend or family member to review your résumé.
No one knows you better than close friends and family. Ask them to look at your résumé and ask them the specific question,"does my résumé paint an accurate picture of who I am?" Also ask them if they can think of other strengths you can add. You can have them check for grammatical errors also, but this review is primarily to ensure that whoever reads your résumé gets an idea of who you are.
A final thought, you should never need to sell your résumé, the goal is to create a résumé that sells you.