Have you ever walked into a retail store with the intention of ‘just browsing’? Really, you do not need anything; you are just window shopping, passing the time. Suddenly, a salesperson approaches; she engages you in polite conversation. Before you know it, you have an entire fitting room filled with things. You are trying the articles on feverishly searching for the ‘perfect outfit’. Your salesperson is providing her input (of course) and coaching you regarding proper fit and color. I am sure you are chuckling at this. How many times has this happened to you? I, for one, can claim this situation too numerous times to count.
Why do you not treat your job search the same way? So, I segue into how your resume is your marketing and sales tool. Your resume is the salesperson. It serves as the beautiful dress, perfect tie, the exceptionally well-tailored suit. This is your PITCH; the very thing you are going to use to whet your reader’s appetite.
If you had to attach a dollar figure to your resume, would you want people to find you in the 99¢ store? I am going to make an educated guess here and say “NO WAY!” You want people to find you in the high-end boutique, Barneys, Bergdorf’s – places for discerning shoppers; people who recognize that you get what you pay for.
So, what are to elements to a strong marketing and sales document? This is the document that positions you as a luxury good:
Hit ’em with a headline: This will tell the reader what you want. It sets an immediate tone for the positions you are seeking.
Develop your spin strategy: Write a short paragraph with compelling information about your background. Avoid clichés and long-winded drivel. Get to the point. This is not a mini tome.
Create your core competencies: The reader will be drawn to this section: it’s a quick key word search area with your key skills.
Position it with professional experience: You don’t need to deliver everything, including the kitchen sink. ‘Show a little shoulder’. Your resume is the appetizer. You don’t need to give the reader a full plate of food. Entice, entice, entice.
Rich with results: It’s the examples and corresponding results that will make you shine. Give the examples in a clear and cogent manner; be prepared to discuss and back it up.
Pretty as a picture: Make sure that the font, presentation, and set-up of the resume is consistent and aesthetically pleasing. You could be the best candidate globally; if your resume is sloppy, so are you.
Make your sales and marketing pitch work for you. You have ownership of the resume. This is the one thing that you completely dominate during the search. Don’t let your search dominate you.