You are your own product! You are a commodity on shelves of a store, and it’s up to you to get yourself picked. Who’s the shopper? The shopper is any number of companies out there looking for some special person to help make them money! Will you be that person?
The interview determines this.
An interview is akin to a shopper who picks up an apple and tests it for freshness. They feel it, smell it, touch it and try to imagine what it will taste like. A company does the same with you during the interview.
How many red apples do shoppers pick up to test that already have dark brown bruises and strange looking appearances? Not too many.
Our resume is the skin on our delicious inner core. It’s a prelude of coming attractions. It’s a sales pitch, a marketing tool that yells at the employer, “I’m different! I’ll make you tonnes of money! I’ll keep your customers coming back for more!!!” If your resume is not saying this….bye bye.
These 5 resume writing tips will help you develop a powerful tool to market yourself into a job interview. For those who are not practicing these tips, you’re going to be at a huge disadvantage.
Do you include an objective?
Yes or no. Yes if it is well written and focused specifically on a job you know that you want. No if it is generic and unfocused.
Yes, if it gives a quick snapshot of your career and abilities. No, if it talks babble about a bunch of stuff that means little, using words that mean little.
Yes, if it is written in a way that will provide the company with insight into what you will do for the company. No, if it requires the company to determine what you can do.
Bottomline: If you write an objective, then say what job you want, what you will provide, and say it in a way that is exciting and enticing. (Enticing enough for the reader to want to read more).
For example, DO write: Industrial sales position where I can utilize my 5+ years of proven persuasion and interpersonal skills.
DO NOT write: Seeking a position where I can increase my ability to persuade and relate to people.
ALSO remember that your objective should be like the thesis of an essay. Everything that follows in your resume should support what you stated in your objective. …otherwise, cut the objective, and take your chances.
Talk about your accomplishments! When describing the work environment you worked in, focus on the things you did that made the place better. How did you improve the pizza company you worked for? How did you increase value at the volunteering opportunity you were involved in? How have you changed the world? It can be small, but it should be something.
Knowing this is important to remember, because when we work, we should always be thinking of how we can help the situation we are in. Doing so for the reason of a) it makes the place better, but also b) it makes good resume story material. Accomplishments sell! Remember this.
How to write them? Easy: Increased overall company sales by 3%. Created strategic marketing plans that resulted in improved brand image. Interviewed customers for feedback on our pizza sauce.
Delete the Inessentials. Resumes should never be generic. They should be aimed and written specifically for each and every company we are applying to. This means work for us. Hard work! But, it also means a powerful and effective resume. One that supports our position that we have something that can help the company we are applying to. So, think this in all your writing!
Eliminate anything that does not pertain to the company and position that you are applying to.
Eliminate those things that do not contribute to supporting the statement you made in your objective.
Keep your resume well trimmed of fat that gets in the way of your selling your unique skills, abilities, and attitudes to the company you’re applying to. Cut, cut, cut!
Question: Is your work as a cook at McDonalds important for the sales position you are applying to? Yes…if you write it in a way that can improve the image of you as a good candidate. If no, then cut it. (At least as much as the description. If there is room, you can state that you worked there, but without any description of the work).
References! Write them down. Have them attached with your resume. But! Have them attached and on a separate paper. Do it!
Never say, “Available Upon Request”.
Instead, include contact information and job & title information. And, this is very important, remember to contact your references that they know to expect a call from your potential employers. VITAL for you and for them. You want to make sure you know what they will say, and that they know what coming. A surprise call might result in a poor recommendation.
Tell Mini Stories! Always be telling stories. Think action. I am…is not a story. I did….is a story. Think action. One sentence is enough to tell a story. Sold 16 million dollars worth of farm equipment is a powerful story.
While considering accomplishments, consider the impact of the story. Verbs are essential storytelling tools. Use them and win!
Competition for the sale of any commodity is fierce these days! Competition for a job is vicious. The interview is the key to getting that job. A resume is a key to getting that interview. Practice the five tips listed above and you’ll be sure to see yourself slipping into interview after interview. What you do there is another matter. We’ll cover that next time.
All for now. Happy writing!