Put yourself in the place of the busy manager who has to read a stack of job description resumes. Your reaction might range from falling asleep to tearing out your hair-or wanting to! Why is that? Because job description resumes are BORING and do absolutely nothing to distinguish you from the crowd.
If you’re not taking appropriate steps to make yourself stand out, there’s not much point in submitting your resume anywhere these days. The job market is too competitive.
It’s important to note that I said appropriate steps. I’m not talking about creating your resume in the shape of a cake (unless, maybe, you’re a dessert chef). I am talking about doing what you legitimately can to present yourself as a potentially valuable member of the company team you want to join.
First, let’s look at what constitutes a job description resume and why it doesn’t produce the results you need. Here’s an excerpt from a position posting that gives the main requirements for that position:
- Evaluate operations and implement measures to improve and exceed guest satisfaction and operational efficiency
- The ability to establish strong client relations, warm and compassionate customer relations, leadership and development of service improvements is essential
- This position requires the ability to work closely with staff in a high-energy environment, where attention to details is essential
- Experience in working in a high-volume, fast paced environment is highly desirable
- Routinely audit site summary reports and records as required, submitting requested reports and statistics
If that were the kind of position you wanted, you would undoubtedly need to possess most, if not all, of the listed qualifications, so why wouldn’t you want to include such a list in the experience section of your resume? The main reason is that most likely everyone who plans to apply for that position can and will include a similar list in his or her resume. That being the case, why would the employer pull yours from the stack?
Now let’s look at what it takes to transform your resume into a value-added, “here’s what I can do for you” proposition.
Most important, your resume must give employers a reason to take more than a lightning-quick glance at it. The information and the way it’s presented need to appeal to employers’ sense of self-interest. In other words, they have to see-and see fast-a good reason to believe you could be worth spending their scarce time on, to at least skim through your resume and consider calling you for a possible interview.
So how do you come up with the essential elements of a value-added resume?
Take a look at the following rewrite of a couple of the job description items mentioned earlier:
- Planned and executed a program that increased the speed of response to guest concerns 25% and improved staff efficiency by eliminating redundant operational steps.
- Initiated weekly 30-minute mini-reviews that encouraged greater staff participation and addressed critical details while reducing slowdowns previously caused by two-hour staff meetings.
- Established a semi-automated logging and tracking system that saved three hours weekly on routine auditing of site summary reports and records by improving accuracy and accessibility.
See the difference? These statements show value. They make you sound like someone who takes a “responsible for” task and turns it into a “wow!” situation.
You don’t have to be a miracle worker, able to walk on water, to do this. Almost anyone who thinks hard enough and focuses on key aspects can come up with some desirable contributions. Yes, it can require diligent effort, but it’s well worth the time and trouble, especially since your competition might not bother to do it.
So don’t settle for a job description resume that buries you in the crowd. Create a value-added resume that leads-one that puts you AHEAD of the crowd. It won’t guarantee success in every situation, but it’s way ahead of the alternative.
(Be sure to take full advantage of all of the resources TCE makes available!)