Tips for selling your skills.
Written by Matt Wegner
Founder and Lead Counselor, Matt Wegner Financial Coaching, www.financialexcellence.net
As unemployment rises the competition for new jobs is heating up. This means you need every competitive advantage available to help put your best foot forward. The most basic tool out there for selling yourself to a prospective employer is the resume. Many people make the mistake of thinking the resume is what gets you the job. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. All the resume does is get your foot in the door and lead to the interview. However, one of the first things that will COST you the interview (and consequently the job) is a poorly written resume. Think of the resume as a sales brochure convincing the employer that they need to get you in front of them to learn more about the product (you). If you send them a sales brochure full of spelling errors and sentences that don’t make sense, they’re going to move it from their desk directly into their trash can. In my own interviewing experience, nothing turned me off faster than a poorly written resume with no relevant substance.
Here are some tips to help you build a strong resume.
– Avoid fancy fonts. Keep the typeface simple.
– Keep the information in short, easy to read paragraphs. Use bullet points when possible instead of paragraphs.
– Double and triple check for grammatical errors & misspellings. Have someone you trust (or several people) review the resume specifically for these types of errors.
– Be specific, especially when stating accomplishments. Don’t state you improved sales. Say you increased sales by 15% over the previous year.
– Never lie. It will catch up to you.
– Your resume should be reviewable in 30-40 seconds. Keeping it to one page is helpful, but never have one more than two pages.
– Never include salary information on your resume.
– Skip the objective. Don’t waste time with the generic lead-in. The interviewer knows what you want. The objective only states the obvious and wastes space that can better be used to sell yourself.
– Begin the resume with a skills summary, profile, or expertise.
– Use descriptive terms like: managed, supervised, instructed, planned, organized, trained, directed, edited, recruited, wrote, sold, marketed, created, etc.
– Cover the last ten years (at least) of work experience. If that’s not possible, draw from areas of competence gained in your personal/extracurricular life.
Boosting your resume can be just the lift you need to properly represent your valuable career skills. Take some time today to give your resume a facelift