Thursday, August 30, 2012

Five resume writing strategies from a career coach's secret toolkit

Ever wonder how career coaches transform ordinary resumes into wow documents. Career coaches and resume writers, depending on their training and background, use a variety of techniques to add “punch” to their clients’ resumes. I am going to share a few commonly-used techniques in this article.
  1. Speak the employer’s language Every profession has a unique set of buzzwords (keywords). Using the right keywords will not only add credibility to the resume, but it will also make your resume searchable. How? Most companies use electronic storage and retrieval systems to manage the large volume of resumes they receive every day. Whenever an opening arises, HR professionals use keywords to search through their database. Only resumes with matching keywords will show up during these searches.

  2. Focus on your accomplishments Most resumes use statements like “Responsible for sales and marketing.” What does this tell the employer? Nothing. Hundreds of resumes on the employer’s desk would be saying the same thing.

    How about this: “Generate sales in excess of $500,000 every month by targeting client base of 1,900 accounts.”

    Even better: “Propelled market share 12% by driving over $500,000 in sales every month. Achieved results by delivering powerful presentations and influencing challenging decision makers. Ranked #1 from sales force of 2,000 employees nationwide. Won Top Salesman of the Year award for capturing 80% of competitor’s accounts.

  3. Highlight benefits, not features If car manufacturer XYZ says, “Our car is red,” that is a feature. When the same car manufacturer says, “Our cutting-edge car will deliver record-breaking 80 mpg and save you at least $350 at the pump every month” -- that is a benefit. Your resume, too, must use similar language, especially to showcase your work at past employers. In the above example, “Responsible for sales and marketing” is a feature but “Propelled market share 12%” … and “Captured 80% of competitor’s accounts” would be benefits.

  4. Format effectively An effectively-formatted, well-organized resume can reduce reading time dramatically. Imagine how pleased the hiring manager would be to review a resume that highlights key quickly.

  5. Stay focused The modern workforce is multi-skilled and cross-functional in the truest sense of those terms. Flat organizational structures have necessitated cross-training and have created a new breed of workers who can adapt to newer roles very quickly. Even if you are qualified for multiple positions, don’t try to create one resume for every job on earth. Staying focused is the key.
By Nimish Thakkar is a sought-after certified career management coach. He has helped thousands of clie

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