Do You Procrastinate Putting Your Resume Together?
Putting a resume together or just updating an old one can be daunting for many candidates. What is it about writing a resume that gets some of us apprehensive and uneasy? Do you find it hard to put your resume together? Do you start from scratch or do you go to your hard drive and pull up your old one? Many candidates simply grab a file and write a paragraph about their most recent responsibilities. A few weeks ago I called someone I knew about a job that I thought would be perfect for them but a week later I was still waiting for their resume. Why the procrastination? When it finally arrived, he said it wasn't very good and wanted to know what I thought of it. After reviewing it, I could tell quickly that he slapped a paragraph in there and hadn't given it a lot of thought. It did not make a strong impression and I told him so.
We hear from people all the time about how difficult resumes are to write. When they finish, they are usually not satisfied with it. Some good questions to ask: Are you satisfied with what it says about you and are your accomplishments highlighted? Does it tell the reader what you are passionate about? Is it grammatically correct and have you spell-checked? In this challenging job market you must have a resume that generates interest in having you in for an interview.
There are thousands of consultants, trainers, and paid websites out there to help you write a solid professional resume. But, will it be targeted to the appropriate job? While I'm all for seeking advice, an effective resume should be targeted to the job you are applying for. I look at resumes every day. Each is different and tells a personal story. Whether it's one page or multiple pages, a good resume details employment history and highlights your past responsibilities and accomplishments. In a sense, it sets the stage for a good conversation in an interview setting.
With on-line applications and social media, candidates ask whether their resume will make a difference. In a competitive job market like the one we're in, an interesting, well written resume can make the difference between one candidate getting an interview over another. You want the resume chosen to be yours. Hiring managers and recruiters look at so many resumes that they make interview decisions quickly. Managers have told me that every once in a while, a resume jumps up and speaks directly to them. When it does, they'll read it completely through to the end.
So, what is the number one reason to have a great resume? It's to get an interview! Your resume is your calling card. It tells the hiring manager that if you hire me, you'll get these same contributions and accomplishments. It convinces the hiring manager that your past performance is indicative of your future performance and success.
A great resume targeted to a particular position will help to set up a great interview. The hiring manager will anticipate meeting you in person and learning more about you.
It should provide current and accurate contact information (no silly email addresses please!)
It should highlight your professional profile and highlight your excellent writing skills - based on the fact that the resume is so well written
To provide professional references and background information
To help you articulate your objective, professional qualifications, and accomplishments
Next time you think about dusting off that old resume, stop! Set some time aside to put your thoughts together and write a really good resume that “sells you” and excites the person reading it.