Make no mistake. Your resume cover letter is what will get somebody to read your resume.
If that initial commercial for you isn't shockingly, preferably uniquely good, your resume probably doesn't count for much.
If your cover IS great, though, you've got to have a resume behind it.
Your resume needs to present the product (that's you) in such a way that the person reading it stumbles over himself trying to pick up the phone to call you.
Having just read that, imagine most resumes you've ever read. Did you jump? I doubt it.
Most resumes tell an exhausting story of a person's work history. What a resume should present is the high points of a compelling career narrative. Anything else is boring, useless reading for somebody who doesn't have the time for it. And won't take the time to read it through.
So what should be in a resume anyway? Maybe not what you think. If you get nothing else out of this article, remember one point.
A resume is not a laundry list of your work history.
A resume must contain
- Professional accomplishments (dollar-quantified whenever possible) that your potential employer cares about
- Some more of those
- And, finally, some more of those
Maybe that stuff isn't as exciting to you as your birthdate, or your hobbies, but nothing else matters as much as that quantified experience your potential boss cares about. If you create a resume without that in there, odds are good it'll end up in the garbage.
It's a matter of time, really. Your potential new boss (or somebody working to fill the position for him, like a recruiter) has only so much of it. Not unlike you, right?
Imagine a business seminar where the speaker drones on about useless or redunant material. Work is piling up back at your desk. You have deadlines to meet. You were supposed to get something out of this seminar. Instead there's a boring speaker wasting your time.
Get the picture?
A resume reader will move on the instant you stop being compelling. That instant arrives when you stop talking about what the reader cares about. And he cares about quantified (preferably dollar-quantitied) accomplishments.
Think again about the typical resume again. Better yet, think critically about yours. Here's what most have in them:
- "Tasks. " That's what you did, not what you achieved.
- "Awards. " Those recognize accomplishments.
- "Promotions. " Those validate repeated accomplishment.
Go ahead and include those items in your resume. Make sure, though, that they add icing to the accomplishment cake.
There's an old adage in the sales world: Sell, don't tell. Blah experience listed without any sizzle is telling, not selling.
If your resume doesn't have quantified (preferably dollar-quantified) accomplishments, it's a poor commercial for You, Inc.
Copyright (c) by Roy Miller
Roy Miller created http://www.Job-Search-Guidepost.com.
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