Thursday, April 15, 2010

What does your resume really say?

It’s astonishing how many people believe they are “Top Talent” but fail to represent themselves as such in their resume. I don’t think people realize that your resume will not get you a job, but it most certainly can keep you from getting one. Employers sometimes immortalize resumes as the funniest or most ridiculous. I knew one guy who kept a “Donkey List” and quite literally put the worst resumes on the list for all to see.

Your resume is your vehicle that allows you to get to the hunting ground. It is your first opportunity to represent yourself to an employer and you must find a way to distinguish yourself from all the other candidates.

Think of your resume as a piece of marketing material. Equal to something you might get in the mail from a company that wants you to buy their product or service. Unless your career is in sales, you must find a way to change your perspective altogether and start thinking of your resume as your product sheet, you are the product, and you have to sell yourself to employers.

In sales, it is important to provide value to your client. In a job search, you have to consider the employer is going to make an investment in you, and they need to judge if you are going to be of value to their organization. If your resume is not up to snuff, then you will easily be disqualified.

Some of the most common mistakes I see are simple to fix. Many people say they have “Strong communication skills” and then misspell words or write incomplete sentences. Sometimes you can tell when someone is stretching the truth or exaggerating their role. Many times, formatting is inconsistent and hard to follow. These are all things that scream to an employer, “Donkey!”

So what does your resume really say? Does it tell employers that you are the only candidate they really need to talk to? Does it say I’m ready to take on the challenge? Does it convey confidence, ownership of your career, and your ability? Or does is say, “I’m a Donkey?”

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