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Category Archives: Resumes and Value-Rich Cover Letters

How to improve your resume in 3 easy steps

How to improve your resume in 3 easy steps

Writing a resume is one of the things that many people dread. Their concept of resume writing comes from stale-outdated textbooks and English classes in high school and college. They have the myths of resume writing drilled into their head so deep that they are afraid to make any changes that break what they think are “the rules.”

Unfortunately, those same fears are the ones that get in the way and impede your resume from doing the job it is meant to do! The resume’s purpose is to get you the interview. If your resume has nothing in it that correlates with the job you want, you won’t even be in the running for the interview. Let’s fix that! Here are three steps to help you improve your resume and start generating interviews and job offers.

Step #1: Focus the resume

  • Drop the stodgy old style objective that was always meaningless and me-focused anyway.
  • Change it up with a specific Banner or Headline that clarifies your job target and expertise:
    • Business Development Manager
    • Global Senior Sales Executive
    • Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner
    • Senior Pastor
    • Leadership Development and Sales Training Director
    • Or change it up with a main heading combined with subheadings of expertise:
      • Product Management
        • Business Analysis | Business Process Re-engineering

Step # 2: Define and showcase the keywords for the industry

  • Keywords are the items that you need to match the hiring manager’s specifications. An easy way to find these is in the job description.
  • Figure out your focus for the role you want the most. You can’t run a job search by applying to every job you might fill with the same resume. This is a huge problem for job seekers. They panic and don’t focus the job search. They use the same resume without altering it for multiple positions.
  • Start with one resume with a specific set of key words. You can always do a save as and tailor your original resume for other positions.

Step #3: Define your value to the employer

  • When you have not clarified for the employer what value you bring, you will not sell them on calling you for an interview.
  • The process I use with job seekers is to continue to quiz them on the accomplishment and stories that make them valuable to the employer.
  • Recently, I was working with a Business Development Manager on WebEx and he asked if he could take control of the screen share. I said sure. He showed me a number of diagrams and PowerPoint presentations, explaining the value of the changes he recommended to his prospective clients. He blew my mind! He articulated how his recommendations earned 50.4% of a new client’s $7.6 million expenditures for his product line through demonstrating the value of the re-engineering.
  • This is what I am talking about! Make your value shine in your resume so that you are the one they want.

These steps are just part of the process I use to create and fine tune resumes to generate interviews and job offers for my clients. The formatting and design concept showcase the client’s value too. Combining a great resume with a companion LinkedIn profile and a job search strategy that uses networking and deep research into hidden job markets result in interviews. Preparing for those interviews is the next piece of the puzzle but I teach my clients that too.

Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make it 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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