What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Recently, I discovered Wordle. Wordle is a toy for generating word clouds from text that a user provides. It can help you figure out your brand.

The point of the Wordle for me was to verify whether or not I am profiled or branded properly. This picture above was created from my blog. It says a lot about the way that I think, what is important to me and shows that I AM branded properly!

Job seekers can use Wordle to see if their word cloud says the right thing about their resume. Most job seekers put together a document that is actually a C.V. or curriculum vitae (vital statistics of every place that they have ever worked). Instead they should be using a resume that talks about specific experience and education. (See Wikipedia)

The biggest mistake that most job seekers make is the dump of everything, especially the non-relevant stuff into the document. They hope that the recruiter or potential employer (usually HR or the hiring manager) will sift through the mess to find out what they can possibly do. Guess what happens? When the hiring manager cannot see immediately what you can do for them or what position you are applying for, you resume ends up in the great recycling box called Resume Hell!

I was talking to a new client the other day with his resume. He had just been laid-off after 24 years with one of the large telecoms. Although he had some great qualifications, nowhere on the “resume” did I see a profile or what it is that he can really do. Was he really expecting to get some traction from a potential employer with that document?

The first cardinal rule of thumb on a resume is to create a killer profile. The profile tells an employer:

  1. Who you are i.e. Senior Technical Manager. I always advise using the description from the job application.
  2. What you can do i.e. Implemented complex desktop deployments for 100 users and internal customers. Tell the hiring manager what you are good at and can do for them.
  3. What makes you that good at what you did or can do i.e. Created quick and painless cutover by doing 3-shift per day implementation over four days. Customer had no down time which means you can save them time, money and resources.
  4. Why the potential employer wants to hire you i.e. Cost saving measures of the 3-shift implementation created under budget surplus to the satisfaction of the customer, thus netting each member of the team $5,000 bonus. Pure accomplishment statements.

A great resume has a profile, NOT an objective. So many people still use the word objective on their resumes. We all know that as a job seeker you want to work in a great company where your skills are utilized, where you are challenged, and made to feel welcome. Get off the idea of writing like a 15-year old. An objective is all about the job seeker. A profile is all about the potential employer.

It’s not about the person who wants the job but about what the job seeker can do for the employer to grow the company’s bottom line. Consider putting your resume through a spit-shine to clean it up a bit. (Tim Tyrell-Smith of Tim’s Strategy)

Here is an analogy that you about someone who is thinking of buying a house. The person searches the internet for house listings. A house listing has a profile not an objective. The objective is obvious – the seller wants to sell the house. Similarly, the job seeker wants a job. The resume gets you the interview and the interview gets you the job. The house has a profile that gives a potential buyer an idea of its specs, what it has to offer, how good it will be, and how much it will cost.

A killer career solo sheet or profile says upfront what the job seeker can do. This means that your professional experience had better match up to the profile. Don’t put the company first and job title after or below the company. Employers do not care so much where you worked as what you actually did for the company. Then show the highlights of qualifications in a section just below what you can do. This is the place to demonstrate what you did, how you did it and what make you that good. Any sort of awards for cost saving measures should be listed here. If you have special technical skills or certifications or languages or security clearances, list them here as well.

Remember, the career profile (the icing on the cake) is what sells you and the rest of the resume is just the supporting data (the plain cake). A potential employer can see from your profile what you do and can do, what makes you great, your accomplishments, and how you will do that great stuff for their company. Not only will a great resume drive interviews your way, but may even land you that dream job.

So, what does your resume say about you?


Guest Expert:

Queen Schmooze is a Re-Positioning Strategist helping job seekers, career changers, recruiters, entrepreneurs and start-ups to gain greater market share. With 25+ years in communications in different areas including the political sphere, community and social activism, non-profits, and corporate business, Michelle J. Iseman, aka Queen Schmooze, uses branding and profiling to better position the client for their target market audience. When you want to STAND OUT in a crowd, you call on Queen Schmooze to enable them to see you. She is blunt, brutal and honest, making sure that you have a true SEO that can get you ahead.

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