How to Ensure Your Resume Produces Top Results
By Teena Rose, Professional Executive Resume Writer
A professionally designed resume is an important component to any jobseeker; however, the overall effectiveness of the document depends on how and how often it's used, marketing strategies utilized, and the relevance of the content. Concentrating on these important aspects is key to ensuring your resume produces well.
Use your resume as it is designed - not how you see it. What this means is, if you've been in sales for years, don't expect to obtain a position outside of your skill set, such as real estate leasing, without an in-depth job search using a resume that focuses on industry transferable skills. Some of your abilities may apply to the RE industry (as you may see it), but without employment history or a clearly defined resume for "real estate leasing," the resume will not produce good results. Crossing over into another career is possible but certainly a move that requires preparation for you and definitely for the resume.
Persistent actions, not blind submission. Taking a persistent and consistent approach to sending a resume is one aspect of job searching that few jobseekers take seriously - not necessarily because of the inability to be assertive, but rather due to the large task at hand. Job searching can be exhaustive and individuals tend to lose initiative after receiving constant rejection. Sending resumes out in blocks of 50 per week will allow the jobseeker to remain very active in the hunt, yet allow enough time to focus on other strategies. Suggestion: Focus on a list of companies that best match your existing skill set and career focus, rather than applying to help wanted ads or conducting an exclusive online search. Create a new list weekly and follow- up with each employer within 5-8 business days to ensure receipt and to answer any questions.
Adding an eye-catching introduction followed by sticky content. Marketing professionals will tell you that you must have a "hook": something that will make the reader act. Relative to job searching, a hook should cause the reader to call for an interview or possibly discuss the candidate with a colleague. There is no clear definition of what a hook actually can or cannot be, but it should answer two or more of the following:
(a) How is this candidate different from the others applying?
(b) Does this candidate's resume clearly outline and focus upon the company's requirements rather than cloud this information with irrelevant content?
(c) Does this candidate possess the educational requirements specified?
(d) Does the candidate possess the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities to satisfy the company's short- and long-term goals?
Your resume should be alive. Envision each available position as a door lock, and your resume is the key that will allow you passage. The resume should be a certain shape and size for the first lock, but require modification or a completely new design for the next lock. This probably isn't the best metaphor, but I think you get the idea. Job descriptions from position to position are rarely identical - especially for those that require an individual to "wear many hats." Take a secretary, for example. The job responsibilities for a secretary may be completely different from one employer to the next. Modifying the top section of the resume, generally, is the only upkeep required to ensure the resume continuously fits the lock of the door you're trying to enter. Other modifications, such as rearrangement of categories / headers, replacing certain keywords or key phrases and restructuring employment details, may also be necessary.
Focus your job search using networking, online and offline tactics. Networking is still the tried-and-true king relevant to an effective job-search campaign. However today, job seekers are taking their campaigns online due to the ease of researching a company, locating open positions by inputting 2 or 3 keywords (rather than scanning a Sunday newspaper), and the quickness of resume submission. Failed job-search efforts result because some candidates spend most of their time concentrating on the two least effective methods: online and offline (newspaper) applications. Although these two conduits produce results, they can eventually require additional time, effort, and resources to produce the same results as networking. While job searching, utilize all tactics available to you; however, focus your best efforts to networking, then strategic offline (targeted letter campaigns, recruiter contact, and newspaper ads) marketing, and finally, online submissions.
Taking a serious approach to your job search campaign is mandatory to securing a favorable return from the resume. Avoiding some of the largest pitfalls job seekers fall into, will allow you to conduct a strategic and effective campaign that's designed to get a job in the least amount of time.
Teena Rose is a certified resume writer, interview professional, and a credentialed career master. Select resumes have been published and featured within print publications and are being used to set industry standards. Mrs. Rose assists job seekers regardless of industry and magnitude of experience - even those with career blemishes.