Creating a GREAT Resume

Your Career CompassAre you challenged in finding the right words for your resume? LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for you to use in self-assessment. Access the LinkedIn Profiles of other professionals like you… experiment by searching for a person like you in LinkedIn. Modify and improve your Personal Marketing Plan’s implementation model as needed… “Listen” to the marketplace, learning from it and adjusting your PMP accordingly.


Thursday, January 21st… Evolving In Sync Personal Marketing Collaterals: Your resume, et al


As you move through your search, make adjustments as you would a business model. Ask for input from people you respect. In order to market yourself, you must first know yourself. The job search process is essentially a highly personalized marketing process. The process started with your candid self-assessment, often integrating feedback from colleagues and supervisors who know you best. Or consider ‘interviewing’ incumbent professionals, those who have positions and roles that are attractive to you.

This explorative step allows you to gain a thorough and workable understanding of who you are in product marketing terms. Especially if you are starting a resume “from scratch”, or if you are truly unsettled on next steps along your career path, this becomes a necessary first step in the process. What YOU Do Best, and are motivated to do for a future employer… What do you do best? What are your strongest transferable skills? Discovering your “pattern of success and satisfaction” is your goal, here. Your ability to express the collection of your functional strengths will measure your marketability.

Pilot OnboardYOUR STARTING POINT

A GREAT RESUME REALITY THERAPY:

  1. There is no such thing as a perfect resume.
  2. If you seek editorial advice from 100 trusted colleagues, HR folks, or even highly skilled and experienced Career Consultants and resume writers… You will get 100 different pieces of editorial ‘advice.’
  3. Books and The Internet will allow you to choose between hundreds of ‘excellent templates,’ formats, and example resumes to FIT your positioning and targeting (read chaotic choice, here)
  4. The ideal resume CAN BE created for any JOB that posts a realistic set of requirements and an accurate job description.

However… A lesson that the marketplace has taught us over the years is that realistic requirements and accurate job descriptions are elusive, moving targets. That said, a GREAT resume, then, is a journey that SMART professionals choose to pursue for the rest of their career… NOT a destination sought before entering the marketplace during active job search.

Look at your “journey” like your own personal marketing LABORATORY—one in which you’ll spend significant time during active job search in order to develop an effective communication strategy and tactics. Be your own best Marketing Department… know the time tested, vital ingredients and components that you will need for your laboratory…

CONTACT INFORMATION

This component sounds like a ‘no brainer;’ however, even this basic requires some experimentation and choices. A great resume is written for the reader, not to please the writer. So, even YOUR NAME requires that you select exactly how you want your reader to access your background and credentials… Their ‘offer criteria.’

Your choices…

  • FULL legal name, including recognized credentials… or,
  • Your full name, including middle name or initial… or,
  • The name that you are usually called, potentially including… or,
  • A nickname (a rare choice for a professional resume)

YOUR MAILING ADDRESS also requires some choice. Does it potentially create a discrimination based on your ‘neighborhood’ or geography? In today’s digital world of recruitment, your actual residential address is rarely used until hired. So, you may elect to use just your city and state… or simply use your email address as a preferred method of contact. If hired, however, be prepared to give your employer more complete and accurate mailing address.

Make a choice of which PHONE NUMBER you want to use. The traditional stacking of home, office, and cell numbers gives you little control. Rather, select the single best number to reach you during normal working hours— remember your are writing for the reader. An alternative is using a number that can be forwarded to you, where-EVER you are.

…And what about your EMAIL ADDRESS? Please be aware that while your family and friends might enjoy communicating with you at ‘happymom@aol.com,’ you will be more professionally received at ‘JaneDoe1@gmail.com,’ one of your FREE alternatives. Google allows you to forward from an email address that you can create to present a more professional “brand” for yourself—for example… ‘QCPro@printmedia.com,’ an opportunity to express your positioning and targeted industry. You’ll want to create and control for accessibility during active job-search.

You thought these were going to be EASY choices?  Remember that, in the digital world of recruitment, your contact information is your best ‘unique identifier’ of who you are in the mega-databases out there.

POSITIONING STATEMENT

When a reader makes it through your contact information, in the top portion of a great resume they must have a clear picture of what you are motivated to do for them. In today’s digital world of optimized screening and recruitment, THE Careerpilot encourages a very simple, straight-forward approach—one example…

DISTRICT OPERATIONS MANAGER

Business Development | Operations Analysis | Project Management

Process Improvement | Quality Assurance | Staff Development

Note the ‘defining keywords.’  It would be ideal to edit your resume template to precisely FIT each job or employment opportunity’s title and requirements. However, this professional’s more generic template might start with the following positioning…

GENERAL MANAGEMENT

Strategic Planning… Operational Analysis… Manufacturing Process Improvement… Multi-unit Leadership… Customer Service

YOUR QUALIFICATION SUMMARY

Pardon this metaphor, but if the readers are attracted to the title of your story, isn’t it natural for them to look at the ‘table of contents’ or the chapter headings?  In a great resume, you make this reader’s choice EASY by supplying a high impact presentation of your qualifications.  As was the case of your positioning statement and keyword definition (above), your qualification summary can be presented in several attractive formats.

One of the more common and effective is a narrative paragraph the covers the depth, breadth, uniqueness, and a glance at your work ethic and personality FIT… all in 4- 5 tightly word-crafted sentences. For example, following the positioning above…

Successful general management professional with over fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in the (targeted) XX industry. Fully accountable roles have demonstrated consistent leadership in strategic planning, business development, operations analysis, multi-unit responsibilities, project management, process improvement, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction. Uniquely valued for team-building and staff development commitment. Solid reputation as a customer’s business partner and staff’s respected leader—listens, responds and implements effectively.

…more to follow

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