Resume Makeover - Effective Marketing helps Candidates Overcome Job Hurdles
Dominique had been out of the traditional workforce for two years—the result of moving from Ohio to Tennessee and giving birth to a baby girl. However, when her husband was transferred to the Northeast, the couple quickly discovered that he would not have the earning power to support the family on his own. As a result, Dominique would have to take a job outside the home.
Dominique discovered there were numerous hurdles to her efforts to secure gainful employment. To begin with, she had virtually no professional contacts in Connecticut, where she was looking for work. For another, she lacked the confidence she had when she was working full-time, before diapers and pacifiers commanded her round-the-clock attention. But most importantly, Dominique came to the conclusion that she would need a resume makeover in order to market herself effectively for a position as a print journalist.
This is a common problem for those who have been out of the job market for a substantial period of time. In fact, it’s particularly true for those who held only one or two jobs before exiting the workforce. Fortunately, by directing their attention to revamping their resumes, job seekers can learn to present themselves in the best possible way to a prospective employer—regardless of how many years’ experience they have in their chosen field.
Here are some tips to ensuring that your resume is crafted so that it will land you an interview and, ultimately, a job:
Consult Your Mentor
Getting advice from a seasoned professional is the first step to helping you develop a resume that is an appropriate “calling card” for you. While your mentor may not have all the answers, he or she should be able to give you the push you need to compose an effective resume.
You should consider your consultation with your mentor to be a “fact-finding mission.” In essence, you’re trying to determine what someone with managerial experience considers to be the strengths and weaknesses of your resume.
Hand your resume over to your mentor, along with a notepad and pen. Ask your “consultant” to jot down some initial impressions of the document. Your mentor should write down everything contained in the resume that impresses—along with anything that detracts from the resume. Make sure your mentor considers whether the resume is eye-catching without being gaudy or unprofessional-looking…whether it highlights your experience in the best possible way…if the wording is informative and easy to understand…and if there is sufficient white space in the resume to make it easily readable.
Keep in mind, however, that you are asking your mentor for impressions—not absolutes. His or her answers will simply provide you with guidance so that you can go about re-drafting your resume in a way that will make it stand out from the competition.
Re-Evaluate Your Professional Achievements
At times, a resume can be easily enhanced simply by updating the job applicant’s top three accomplishments, which are highlighted at the top of the resume. It is important that you list these achievements in a way that is complete—yet not too wordy. For instance, if you are a journalist, you might consider writing, “Won the state Associated Press Award for outstanding news writing three years in a row.” This type of wording would be preferable to an oversimplified statement such as “award-winning journalist.” By naming three key accomplishments, you are telling your future employer that you are not simply a “one-hit wonder”—that you are a top performer year in and year out.
Avoid the Cookie-Cutter Approach
Many job seekers, thinking they are short on time, end up drafting a single version of their resume and using it in applying for job after job. The problem with this approach is that it does not allow for the fact that each position is unique and may require a slightly different approach. For instance, while the list of jobs you’ve held won’t change from resume to resume, the details you list about your duties on each job might.
Consider this example: You’re applying for a position as a public relations manager for the Navy. You’ve held various PR positions in the past—but some of your activities in those positions are more applicable to this particular job than others. If the Navy position requires you to interact often with the news media, highlight this experience on your resume. If, on the other hand, the job does not require you to be a Webmaster, you might not even list your homepage-producing skills on your resume. After all, you don’t want a Human Relations manager to think that you are overqualified for the position—or that your experience is not quite applicable to the position being advertised.
Keep the Spotlight on Your Achievements
With a resume, there is always the temptation to simply list various job responsibilities. However, let’s face it—there are numerous applicants who have drafted correspondence…supervised other employees…and produced annual reports. Therefore, it’s critical that you find a way to show that you would be a truly valuable employee to a prospective employer.
In order to achieve this feat, you’ll need to focus on your career milestones in the text of your resume. The fact that you compiled a convention book may not impress an employer—but the fact that you earned a local advertising award for your book might. Remember—you are more than just the sum total of your job duties. You are, first and foremost, a unique professional with a great deal of talent and expertise to share.
Be Brief—But Be Memorable
Unfortunately, when many of us start talking about ourselves, we tend to have difficulty stopping. We become so engrossed in discussing the minutiae of our job histories that we manage to bore our audience. The same can happen with a resume. A document that is too wordy will turn off a manager—and could make that prospective employer less interested in your candidacy. When writing about your record of achievement, be sure to keep your comments short and to-the-point.
Wrapping It Up
There is no doubt that rewriting a resume can be a daunting experience. However, if you keep these guidelines in mind, chances are you will produce a composition that will capture the interest of a headhunter, leading you to a job that is truly rewarding—both financially and emotionally speaking.
About the Author: This article was written by the certified professional resume writers of Accuro Resumes(http://www.AccuroResumes.com/). The writers at AccuroResumes will help create a perfect professional resume suited to your best needs. See why thousands of people are discovering the benefits of a perfect professional resume written by AccuroResumes.com. You are guaranteed to be 100% satisfied with your new, professional resume or, your money back. Reproductions of this article are encouraged, but must include a link pointing to http://www.AccuroResumes.com/.