Making sure your resume is a powerful marketing document is a wise investment in your career. It can set you apart from your competition, maximize the amount of interviews you land and ultimately play into how much a company offers you.
After all, you are negotiating with potential employers from the moment you connect with them to the time the offer is made. So everything that happens in that window of time plays into your offer…including how well targeted, well designed and compelling your resume is.
Here are five elements you will want to make sure your resume has:
#1 Targeted format
Your resume must be compelling for the type of position you are focusing on. If you are a sales executive of course you are going to want to quantify your sales skills in terms of territory development, revenue generation, and types of skills associated with sales and secondary support skills such as client management customer service, public relations and marketing.
#2 Value proposition statement
Under the heading of your resume you should have a value proposition statement. An example of a value proposition statement is a 3 to 4 sentence overview of your focus and your strengths. Here’s an example of a VP Statement for a technology executive:
Innovative & highly competent business and technology leader with 15+ years experience developing creative technology solutions that enhance performance, effect change, drive profits and growth. Proven reputation to:
Note: A value proposition statement is different from a personal objective statement. A personal objective statement is not the best to start out with on a resume simply because it’s a statement about what YOU want. Rather, share with your potential employer what skills and strengths you have to offer THEM.
#3 Quantifiable achievements
This is one of the most important components to your resume. You need to communicate in your resume not just what you do, but what HAPPENDS when you do what you do! This technique also helps employers envision you working with them, helping them with similar challenges and issues.
#4 Key-word rich content
Key words organized in a group called something like “core competencies” for instance, will do two things for you. It serves to potentially qualify you for more interviews, assuming those companies you are submitting your resume to use key word scanners. Second, key words. i.e., your strengths that stand alone allow the reader to view your competencies independent of any past company associated with it. This has a positive psychological affect as again, it enhances the reader’s ability to picture YOU in the position they are working to fill.
#5 Two resume versions
You are going to want two versions of your resume. One in ASCII text format and one clean word version. Your ASCII text version is one you will use for all your electronic submissions. This plain text format will hold it formatting and thus look much cleaner on the receiving end. Once you save a copy of your resume in this format, you will want to go in and clean up all the symbols and spacing so it’s readable. Your word version is your clean word copy you can both print out as a hard copy or attach as a word document in an e mail.