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Resume Rant - why no one wants you...

Taking a break from my regularly scheduled work today to rant about the junk at the top of most resumes...

Job seeker -

You say:

"15-year, senior-level experience in process improvement and implementation."

I say:

So the hell what?

Why do I say that? Because that's precisely what the person reading your resume is thinking. They're probably nice corporate HR or managment types who don't say career limiting things, so they won't say it out loud, but they're thinking it.

Why? Because 15 years of senior-level process improvement experience is merely a description of the 'no-duh' stuff on the job ad.

It's the minimum bar. They're not excited that you have it: they expect it! Everyone that sends in a resume is saying they have the basic experience. It's like everyone in prison saying they're innocent.

Saying you have the minimum is NOT taken at face value, and doesn't give the reader one tiny scrap of help making a decision about whether you're worth 30 minutes of interview time.

Think about it. You go to the Ford dealership, withstand the initial ickiness of meeting a car salesman and give him an overview of what you're looking for. He looks you in the

eye, nods his head and says, "All our cars have tires and steering wheels."
What would you say? "Uh there another sales person around I could talk to?"

That's exactly what's happening if you open your resume with "15 years of blah, blah..."

To tell people you have what they're looking for at the basic skill level doesn't mean a thing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch (just to add one more "Z" term for 'not a damned thing.')

And if you try to spice it up with some concocted verbiage from the Dilbert resume terms generator, or try to make yourself seem 'extra nice' by including personal information,
you're just going to get a faster, more vigorous stabbing of the 'delete' button.


They'll probably even feel a justified indignation when they do it!

CONNECT - tie what you do to the results the company wants. Even better, connect it to the pain, greed or fear the individual you're trying to convince is feeling because they haven't yet got the result.

Then say it - at the TOP of your resume where it's important.

Not "15 years blah, blah, blah..." Instead try:

"7 solid examples of helping teams eliminate the frustrating, meaningless, stupid work that keeps them from turning the profit the VP's neck is on the line for."

Or -

"Three real-life jobs where I helped companies stop pissing off (and losing) customers by finding the holes in their sales and delivery process where customers stopped being interested, and started complaining to their friends."

Or -

"Instantly stopped huge financial losses in small, newly acquired companies by taking charge and re-inventing work processes to refocus exclusively on dollar-producing activities."

PLEASE - stop selling tires and steering wheels.

You look like an idiot when you do it. It's not why people buy cars and it's not going to get you hired.

Thus endeth the rant.