The Write Way to Present Yourself
Your resume - marketing your product (YOU)
Your resume is an essential part of your marketing campaign. It's the promotional piece that advertises your product - YOU. Your resume is a powerful selling tool that not only details your background and experience, it reflects your career accomplishments in a manner that will persuade the reader to contact you. An effectively written and thoughtfully composed resume will undoubtedly translate into interviews. So how do you create an effective resume? First, let's start with the basics:
Components of a professional resume
1. Contact information
Make it easy to contact you either by phone, mail or e-mail. Don't make the recruiter track you down. Note: make sure your voicemail message is professional. You don't want a recruiter to get the wrong impression from a silly message on the recording. Do not include personal information, such as marital status, here or anywhere else on your resume.
Some experts believe that including an objective may limit your chances of obtaining an interview; if your objective doesn't match the recruiter's needs at the time, you may miss out on a golden opportunity. On the flip side, a career objective is useful in communicating that you are proactively managing your career. You know what you want, why not say it? We suggest taking a broad approach: Instead of writing a sentence like "Seeking a career opportunity as a Marketing Executive…," try a simple title after your contact info, simply "Marketing Executive."
3. Summary statement
First, include your title and years of experience. Second, list special skills. Third, talk about your character traits or work style. Remember that this is a summary; it should only be 2-3 sentences long.
"Financial Accountant with over 10 years' experience with two Fortune 500 companies. Technical skills include P & L, budgeting, forecasting and variance reporting. Bilingual in Spanish and English. Self-starter who approaches every project in a detailed, analytical manner."
4. Professional experience
List each position held in reverse chronological order, going back at least ten years. If you held multiple positions within the same company, be sure to list all of them - you want the recruiter to see how you've progressed. Concentrate on the description of the position - that's the meat & potatoes. The body of the position description has two parts:
- a description of your responsibilities and
- your accomplishments
Use the FAB format to organize your skills and sell your accomplishments to a recruiter.
Feature: the actual responsibilities.
Accomplishment: the performing of responsibilities.
Benefit: how your performance affected your employer.
||Create and Implement a Certified Inspector program|
||Reduced the number of parts inspected upon final assembly|
||Decreased inspection costs by 45%|
||Created and implemented a Certified Inspector program that reduced the number of parts inspected upon final assembly. Inspection costs were reduced by 45%.|
Consider this format to demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities:
Situation: What situation was your company facing?
Solution: What did you do to solve the problem?
Outcome: What was the outcome?
|Example:||VP of Business Development|
|Situation:||Company wanted to grow non-government business|
|Solution:||Created and implemented commercial market penetration strategy|
|Outcome:||Increased revenues in excess of $100 million|
|SSO Statement:||Company wanted to grow non-government sector business. Developed business that resulted in the capture of commercial sales with increased revenue in excess of $100 million.|
Top 12 accomplishments that most interest employers
- Increased revenues
- Saved money
- Increased efficiencies
- Cut overhead
- Increased sales
- Improved workplace safety
- Purchasing accomplishments
- New products/new lines
- Improved record keeping process
- Increased productivity
- Successful advertising campaign
- Effective budgeting
Other resume components include: Education, Professional training, Affiliations/Appointments Licenses, Technical skills and Languages.
Approach these items from the viewpoint of the recruiter or employer: How will these skills benefit the company?