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What Is A Resume?


Your resume is your sales tool that outlines your skills and experiences so that your potential employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer’s workplace. As we discussed in the previous article, Resume – An Introduction, your resume has to sell you.

While you may have all the requirements for a particular position, your resume is a failure if the employer does not instantly come to the conclusion that you “have what it takes.” The first hurdle your resume has to pass may take less than thirty seconds – and its quality will determine whether it ends up in the “consider file” or the “reject file”.

The most effective resume are clearly focused on a specific job title and address the employer’s stated requirements for the position. The more you know about the duties and skills required for the job – and organize your resume around these points–the more effective the resume.

You will need information to write a good resume. Not just information about jobs you’ve held in the past but also information to select the most relevant accomplishments, skills and experience for THIS position. The more you know about the employer and the position, the more you can tailor your resume to fit the job.

Some people think of a resume as their “life on a page,” but how could anyone put everything important about herself on a single piece of paper (or two)? Actually, resumes are much more specific, including only relevant information about you for specific employers.

Like a life, however, a resume is always growing and changing. As your career goals shift or the job market changes – as you grow personally and professionally – chances are you will need to re-write your resume or at least create new versions. Writing a resume is a lifelong process.

How do you know what in your life – past, present, and future – is most relevant to prospective employers? How do you select which information to include? The quick answer to both these questions is “it depends.” It depends on your individual career goals as well as on the professional goals of the companies hiring in your area or field of interest.

In the end, only you, through research, planning, questioning and self-reflection, can determine the shape and content of your resume, but the strategies below along with those on the job search can help you ask the right questions and begin exploring your options.

A resume is a professional introduction meant to encourage a one-on-one interview situation – the opportunity for communication that can lead to a job offer.

It is a rare candidate who is hired by his or her resume alone. It is just as rare to be offered an interview without one.

A resume is often the first line of contact. It establishes a first impression of a potential job candidate’s skills, background and hiring value. If written well, this impression can be a positive one, offering the reader a sense of the candidate’s “fit” for the position and company being targeted.

If written really well, it may convince the reader that the candidate is ideally suited for the advertised job. When coupled with an effective cover letter, the resume can be a very strong marketing tool.

Preparing a resume may be seen as a nuisance, but having a well-constructed, well-designed resume is an important part of your job search. Consider that for each available job opening there may be as many as 100 to 1000 resumes submitted.

If your resume

  1. fails to adequately and accurately convey your hiring value (for the specific position),
  2. fails to establish your hiring value over competing candidates, or
  3. is difficult to follow,

your ability to compete against those 100 to 1000 professionals vying for the same position will be greatly diminished.

If your resume secures an interview, it has done its job. If it sets you ahead of the competition in the mind of your interviewer, then it has given you a distinct advantage, and has gone beyond its job.

A great resume does what all good marketing pieces do: it sells the “consumer” (the potential employer or hiring manager) on the “product” (you).

Like it or not, the job of looking for employment is a job in sales and marketing. The product you are “selling” is you, and the “customer,” who has unique needs and interests, needs to be sold on the fact that you have what it takes to get the job done and to meet the needs of the position.

He or she is going to want to know how you are going to solve his or her problems, and he or she is going to give your resume about 15 seconds, or less, to sell this. 15 seconds is the average time a hiring manager will allot to a new resume – before giving it a potential “yes” or “no” response.

The resume will not get you the job, but it can certainly secure your chances of being seen and interviewed, just as it can cause you to be passed over in favor of a candidate who offers a better presentation.

As with any type of marketing campaign, use your resume as one tool in your search, continue to network, improve your interviewing skills, and use every avenue available to you to better your chances and opportunities.

And, after you have secured that next position, do this all over again. Always be prepared for the next opportunity. Keep your resume up-to-date and stay career fit.

So, essentially, a resume is you in short form on paper.  That is why having a good looking, easy to read resume is so important.

Resume – An Introduction

8 Comments

  1. I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  2. How much time do you invest in this blog. It is really quite nice. I like the theme as well as the content. This comes from a fellow blogger, if that means anything.

  3. good day, blog on jobs. such a thing helped me. Thanks

  4. I have been surfing on-line more than three hours lately, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the internet will likely be much more helpful than ever before.

  5. Hey i just visited your site for the first time and i really liked it, i bookmarked it and will be back :D

  6. Highly useful information. Thanks

  7. Great site are you on linkedin?

  8. Thanks a ton Joey. Yes we are on LinkedIn.

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