To answer my question, 98% of all resumes that come across my desk do.
Most of the resumes I review each year suffer from an identity crisis and are uninspiring. They’ve been created in cookie-cutter fashion, filled with overused words and phrases, are not aligned with the employer’s needs and open with a vague statement that “tells” the employer what they are looking for …”to utilize my skills and experience …” (insert yawn.)
A resume with an identity crisis leaves the reader confused and unable to discern exactly what direction the person is going with their career or the value they bring to the organization. More than that, this type of resume doesn’t:
- Differentiate you from your competition.
- Provide context. It’s all generic fluff that sounds like hundreds of other candidates.
- Make it easy for the hiring authority to determine how you solve their specific business pain.
- Prepare you for interviews.
- Say anything unique at all.
Still today, job seekers hold fast to the belief that employers want an objective statement along with a full obituary of their career. And, they continue to create generic resumes with basic job descriptions, tasks, and experiences. Resumes have evolved.
- Are focused and make it easy for hiring manages to grasp your value (what you can do for them), where you worked (your unique experiences), and the impact of your efforts.
- Are bold and go beyond simply showing titles, dates, and job duties.
- Demonstrate your value and frame how you made a difference.
- Do not use generic objective statements or overused phrases.
- Convey perception (how you want to be perceived); alignment (who you are and where you are going); and a summary (the argument for your worthiness to be hired for the position).
- Are unique to the applicant and not a copy of another person’s document.
Your resume should connect with your audience and build the hiring authority’s confidence in you by proving your value.
If you’re uncertain of the direction you want to go in your career, find the common thread and then emphasize where your skills and qualifications intersect with the employer’s needs.
It All Starts with a Strategy — No matter the circumstance, to create a great resume, you need a strategy before you start writing.
- What is your career goal?
- Who is your target audience?
- What value do you offer (skills and competencies for the industry targeted)?
In the end, a clear direction will help shorten your job search.
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