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Why I use strategic content and design to create resumes

Why I use strategic content and design to create resumes

I was explaining to an executive client that resumes are all about strategy. The strategy comes into play in multiple ways. Content is always king but how your information is positioned is as important as how it is written.

Your resume is a strategic marketing document

When you realize that your resume is a strategic marketing document and the product is YOU, you are on the way to creating a resume that delivers. The resume’s job is to get you interviews and support you in the interview. To do that you need to make sure you incorporate the right components and position them the right way to reach your target.

Design is all about strategic positioning. Your have to consider your target. If your target focuses on one industry, you need to position content and layout to fit that target.

  1. Education or Certifications – You may move education, certifications, or licenses forward to showcase that achievement in the forefront of your resume.
  2. Highlights focus – You may pull content that comes from an experience in earlier years forward into your Selected Accomplishments or your Leadership Success Highlights section.
  3. Community or Volunteer Leadership – position that to showcase the roles you played.
  4. Accomplishment Pull-outs – sometimes it is good to break out a pull-out quote of some of your content to break up the page and inject some interest.
  5. Graphics – you may use a graph or chart that brings out your success stories. As one client voiced the other day, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.”
  6. Testimonials or Quotes – let someone else talk about you. Grab a quote from your employee evaluations, a customer’s thank you letter, a commendation, or your LinkedIn recommendations.
  7. Color – I write and design with color as an integral part of my resume writing. I ask clients to select the color for their resume on the basis of their personal preference, their career preference, or their company target.

Why I let the client take part in design (and content)

My project roadmap has become key to the beginning of my interaction with my clients. Our first appointment begins with a show and tell session where I use one resume to explain the sections of the resume, why they are there, what should change if you use the resume for a different purpose, and how to strategically position information. After that comprehensive overview, I walk through 5 or 6 or maybe more samples and point out the differentiating factors.

Then we return to their Project Roadmap spreadsheet and complete it filling in their preferences for the resume format, resume sections, job search details, and track the services they have selected. This ensures that we have somewhere to check as we move forward in the process. My Design Resume process differs from other resume writers in that we are working in interactive sessions either in my Wausau office or via Skype or WebEx screen sharing. The client participates in interview-like sessions where we craft the content and secure the design together.

Each of the resumes I develop is unique to the person and starts with a blank document. I am as much a teacher and coach as I am a writer. The client grows in understanding of job search strategies,  resume writing, using social media tools such as LinkedIn as we work together to create and execute their strategic plan for the resume and their career marketing plan.

Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make the process fun. We work together to discover those forgotten contributions and position you to win your next role. To find out how, Click Here.

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