Sandeep was a new graduate from University of Kent in England before immigrating to Canada. He was single and had no children. Originally from India, he had lived in London to complete his studies in medicine and after 5 gruelling years of studying, he finally graduated as a physician. When he emigrated to Canada, he decided to work in medical research.
Sandeep’s biggest challenge was to get an interview. His resume was just not working to open the interview door to him.
You Don’t Get a Second Chance to make a first impression.
When I met Sandeep, he’d been looking for a job for 2 years with very few interviews that went nowhere. Examining what was going wrong for him, I quickly saw that coaching Sandeep on the importance of effective resume writing was key to insuring his resume would get him that job.
After all, a resume is your first contact with the employer. A strong resume is vital to your success as a job candidate. There is no such thing as a “standard” format, but by applying the following strategies, you can write a winning resume.
The Steps To An Effective Resume
1. Make your resume a marketing document: show yourself in the very best light. It’s a matter of using the right words to describe what you did in a way you will look good. Here’s an example: You join a software company that just launched a product and the product had so many problems that they had to hire someone to handle the calls. You start doing the tech support, and you work tons of overtime because the calls are so backed up. You clean up the phone queue and then you start taking long lunches because there’s not a lot to do, and then you start job hunting because the job is boring Here’s how you summarize this job on your resume: Assumed management responsibility for tech support and decreased call volume 20%. How do you know 20%? Who knows? It was probably more. But you can’t quantify exactly, so err on the safe side. But if you just say “Did tech support for a software company” no one knows you did a good job.
2. Don’t focus on your responsibilities. Focus on your achievements: a resume is not a job description. Anyone can copy a job description. However, very few can quantify and qualify their work. Michelle works as a Director in Human Resources. Her company went through organizational changes resulting in 300 terminations and 150 job assignments changes, in a 3 month period. Instead of describing this event such as “experience in reorganizations” she spoke to the numbers of employees impacted as well as the time frame she had to accomplish the changes.
3. Emphasize transferable skills, especially if you don’t have much experience or you are seeking a new career. If you are skilled in budgeting, you can easily transfer those skills from finance to store management. Alex was a qualified financial analyst and wanted to start a career in Retail. His budgeting skills allowed him to find a job as Store Manager, responsible for a 1 Million$ budget.
4. Choose key words. Many organizations electronically scan résumés and search keywords, so, if your experience matches what the company is looking for try to include the exact phrases and specific applications listed on the job description. Use action words – words like prepared, managed, developed, monitored will cause your resume to stand out.
6. Use a Brand Statement instead of a Career Objective .Think of it this way: Your 30- or 60-second elevator pitch is a condensed, restated version of your resume. Your branding statement, in turn, is a condensed, restated version of your elevator pitch. It is the briefest possible answer to the question: “Tell me about yourself.” To help you with building your brand statement, answer the following questions first: what are you passionate about? What are your values? What differentiates your professional experience from that of others?
Writing a resume is not a task to be taken lightly. It is your first contact with the employer. Do your homework wisely when writing your resume. Make sure you know your target. Make sure you tailor your message to your target audience. Have a personal brand.
Is your resume producing results?
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