Making Your Resume Great


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Making Your Resume Great

  1. 1. Making Your Resume Great The Basics & Pzazz of Good Resumes 2010 WDM Jobs Expo June 2, 2010
  2. 2. Your presenters <ul><li>Janet E. Burch, SPHR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jan Burch & Associates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Robert A. Mitchell, SPHR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bob Mitchell & Associates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3775 EP True Parkway, #162 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>West Des Moines, IA 50265 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>515-457-7691 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] [email_address] </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Write a Resume that generates results <ul><li>Does not necessarily mean you should follow the rules you hear through the grapevine </li></ul><ul><li>Does not have to be one page </li></ul><ul><li>Does not have to follow a specific format </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Every resume is a one-of-a kind marketing communication </li></ul><ul><li>It should be appropriate to your situation </li></ul><ul><li>It should do exactly what you want it to do…GET YOU AN INTERVIEW! </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Good News… <ul><li>With a little extra effort, you can create a resume that makes you stand out as a superior candidate </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Not one resume in a hundred follows the principles that stir the interest of prospective employers! </li></ul><ul><li>Can you beat those odds? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Even if you face stiff competition, with a well written resume you should be invited to interview more often than many people more qualified than you. </li></ul>
  8. 8. And the Bad… <ul><li>Your present resume is probably much more inadequate than you realize. </li></ul><ul><li>You will have to learn how to think and write in a style that will be completely new to you. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What’s the purpose of a resume? <ul><li>Why have one in the first place? </li></ul><ul><li>What is it supposed to do? </li></ul><ul><li>Most resumes in the pile have only gotten a quick glance </li></ul><ul><li>Why should yours get read from beginning to end? </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Number One Purpose of a Resume… <ul><li>To win an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Your resume is an advertisement…nothing more, nothing less! </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>A great resume doesn’t tell them what you have done </li></ul><ul><li>It makes the same assertion that all good ads do: </li></ul><ul><li>IF YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT, YOU WILL GET THESE SPECIFIC, DIRECT BENEFITS. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Your resume… <ul><li>Presents YOU in the BEST light. </li></ul><ul><li>It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. </li></ul><ul><li>It is so pleasing to the eye that the reader is enticed to pick it up and read it. </li></ul><ul><li>It “whets the appetite”, stimulates interest </li></ul><ul><li>It inspires the employer to contact you for an interview. </li></ul>
  13. 13. It also… <ul><li>Passes the employer’s screening process (provides basic facts) </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes you as a professional person with high standards and excellent writing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Is so well-done (well organized, nice paper) that the employer is impressed with you…and WANTS TO MEET YOU! </li></ul>
  14. 14. It also… <ul><li>Serves as a sample of your skills </li></ul><ul><li>Convinces the employer that you have something the employer wants, and </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as your “business card” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Most people… <ul><li>Write a resume because everyone knows you have to have one to get a job </li></ul><ul><li>Think they can get by without one </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to get help when they need help the most! </li></ul>
  16. 16. What It Isn’t… <ul><li>A history of your past </li></ul><ul><li>A personal statement or some sort of self expression </li></ul>
  17. 17. Research shows… <ul><li>Only one interview is granted for every 200 resumes received by the average employer </li></ul><ul><li>Your resume will be quickly scanned, rather than read </li></ul><ul><li>10 to 20 second is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further! </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression of the resume </li></ul><ul><li>The top half of the first page of your resume will either make you or break you </li></ul><ul><li>Your resume is just like a quick ad on TV </li></ul>
  19. 19. To write an effective resume… <ul><li>You must learn how to write powerful but subtle advertising copy </li></ul><ul><li>You must sell a product in which you have a large personal investment—YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>So…get over your modesty and unwillingness to “toot your own horn” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Focus on the Employer’s Needs… <ul><li>Not your own </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine that YOU are the person doing the hiring </li></ul><ul><li>Write your resume to appeal directly to the person making the hiring decision </li></ul>
  21. 21. Ask Yourself… <ul><li>What would make someone the perfect candidate? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the employer really want? </li></ul><ul><li>What special abilities would this person have? </li></ul><ul><li>What would set a truly exceptional candidate apart from a merely good candidate? </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Put yourself in the shoes of the person doing the hiring </li></ul><ul><li>This is the first, and most important, step in writing a resume that markets you rather than describes your history. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Plan first… <ul><li>Focus on your writing efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Get clear what the employer is looking for and what you have to offer </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself, “What would make someone the perfect candidate?” </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm about why YOU are the best person to fulfill the employer’s needs </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The whole idea is to loosen up your thinking enough so that you will be able to see some new connections between what you have done and what the employer is looking for </li></ul>
  25. 25. So… <ul><li>Recall not just work-related accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Use your entire life as the palette to paint with </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the talents you bring to the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER THE PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER? </li></ul>
  26. 26. A Resume Has 2 great sections <ul><li>In the first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You make assertions about your abilities, qualities and achievements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You write powerful, but honest, advertising copy that makes the reader immediately perk up </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. In the 2 nd … <ul><li>You back up your assertions with evidence that you actually did what you said you did. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is where you list and describe the jobs you have held, your education, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MOST RESUMES PROVIDE JUST THE EVIDENCE SECTIONS WITH NO ASSERTIONS, WHERE THE JUICE IS! </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. But be careful… <ul><li>It’s best to only hint at some things </li></ul><ul><li>Leave the reader wanting more </li></ul><ul><li>Leave them with a bit of mystery </li></ul><ul><li>Your job is to communicate, assert, and declare that you are the best possible candidate for the job! </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Objective <ul><li>Point your resume toward why you are the perfect candidate for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, good advertising is directed toward a very specific target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting means that you are absolutely clear about your career direction </li></ul>
  30. 30. The Summary <ul><li>Consists of several concise statements that focus attention on the most important qualifies, achievements and abilities that you have to offer </li></ul><ul><li>This is your ONE AND ONLY chance to attract and hold the reader’s attention—it may be the ONLY section fully read, so make it strong and convincing </li></ul>
  31. 31. Skills & Accomplishments <ul><li>Here you go into more detail </li></ul><ul><li>Still writing to sell yourself to the reader, not to inform </li></ul><ul><li>State what results you produced, what happened as a result of your efforts, what you are especially gifted or experienced at doing </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Evidence Section <ul><li>Includes work history with descriptions, dates, education, and affiliations, software mastered, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>If you put this at the top of your resume, feels like the reader is reviewing your tax return </li></ul><ul><li>Put the hot stuff at the beginning </li></ul>
  33. 33. Experience <ul><li>List jobs in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t go into jobs in detail early in your career </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on most recent and/or most relevant jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Even summarize a number of earliest jobs in one short paragraph or list bare facts </li></ul>
  34. 34. Education <ul><li>List in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>Degrees or licenses first, followed by certificates and advanced training </li></ul><ul><li>Set degrees apart so they are easily seen </li></ul><ul><li>Put in boldface whatever will be most impressive </li></ul>
  35. 35. Education (continued)… <ul><li>Don’t include any details about college except your major and distinctions or awards you have won, unless you are still in college, or just recently graduated </li></ul><ul><li>Include GPA only if over 3.4 </li></ul><ul><li>List selected coursework if this will help convince reader of your qualifications </li></ul>
  36. 36. Education (continued)… <ul><li>Do include advanced training, but be selective </li></ul><ul><li>No degree received yet? If in progress, include the degree and expected date of completion in parentheses: B.S. (expected 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Didn’t finish college? Start with phrase describing field studied, then school, then dates </li></ul>
  37. 37. Awards <ul><li>If only awards were received in school, put these under the Education section </li></ul><ul><li>Mention what award was for if you can (such as for “outstanding accomplishment”) </li></ul><ul><li>This section is a must if you have received awards or recognitions. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Professional Affiliations <ul><li>Include only those that are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant and impressive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include leadership roles if appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Could be combined with “Civic/Community Leadership” or “Professional Community Memberships” </li></ul>
  39. 39. Civic/Community Leadership <ul><li>Good to include if leadership roles or accomplishments are related to the job target </li></ul><ul><li>Any Board of Directors experience, or “chair” status achieved also good to include </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful with political affiliations, as such can either be a plus or minus </li></ul>
  40. 40. Publications <ul><li>Include only if published </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize if there are many </li></ul>
  41. 41. Comments from Supervisors <ul><li>Include only if VERY exceptional </li></ul><ul><li>Heavily edit for key phrases </li></ul>
  42. 42. Personal Interests <ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can indicate skill or area or knowledge related to the goal, such as photography for someone in PR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can show “well roundedness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can create common ground or spark conversation in an interview </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually irrelevant to the job goal and purpose of resume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be meaningless or an interview turn-off </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include ONLY if you think this information would powerfully move the employer to understand why you would be the best candidate for the job, otherwise, forget it </li></ul>
  44. 44. References <ul><li>Put “References available upon request” at end of resume. This is a standard “close”. </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT include actual names of references. OK to bring separate sheet of references to an interview, to be given only upon request </li></ul>
  45. 45. Remember… <ul><li>Your resume is your advertisement </li></ul><ul><li>You are selling YOU </li></ul><ul><li>You have a great product to sell </li></ul><ul><li>Good luck! </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Jan Burch & Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Bob Mitchell & Associates </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>