When you’re looking for your next job, take a minute to review your resume just one more time, there may be a few things to consider that might just be the difference between you getting the job or not.
I well remember the first résumé I ever wrote for anyone, and got paid. It was in 2002. Kate (name changed) was a waitress at a café I visited regularly. She hated her chosen profession of teaching and wanted to get a job in adventure tourism. Kate showed me her résumé and said she had sent it to a target company she admired. There had been no reply. That did not surprise me.
I asked her to forget that application and told her we would start all over again with a different résumé. I re-wrote it, Kate sent it to the same company, got an interview, and got the job.
Kate asked me how I did it. I told her it was simple. All I did was re-arrange the information she already had on her old résumé, add a heading, tell a short story, and that was that.
It changed her life. The last time I saw her she was supervising bungee jumps and had a big smile on her face. It was a far cry from teaching.
Frustrated job seekers are too numerous to mention. I would estimate that over 90% of job seekers have poor-quality résumés which simply don’t present them in the best light, so their applications go straight in the bin.
I have two brothers who are professional golf teachers. My older brother claims it’s a simple game. “Make sure you have the right grip, bend your legs, stick your bottom out, and swing the club”, he told me. I proved that a couple of years ago when I was supporting people with disabilities and teaching a client of mine, a chap who had Alzheimer’s, how to play golf. I remembered my brother’s instructions. They worked. You should have seen the smile on my client’s face when he hit the ball down the middle of the fairway. It added a whole new dimension to his life.
Résumés are exactly the same. A simple style can be very, very effective.
It starts with your own name. You will never find Jason, my first name, on my résumé. I hated that name for many years because it was a strange name when I was born. Kids used to laugh at me. That’s why I’ve always been called Martin. Right now I’m surrounded by Jasons. My parents were ahead of their time.
Nowadays we’re told that a résumé has to have a 30-second impact. That is achieved in the top half of the first page. So take a look at your résumé, put yourselves in the shoes of an employer or recruiter, read the top half and decide whether you would invite this person for an interview. If the answer is no then there’s definitely something wrong with your résumé.
You should aim to tell the full story in your résumé. This removes the need for writing a detailed cover letter. I don’t believe, except in rare cases, that employers compare cover letters. They will always compare résumés though. That’s just common sense.
Finally, and perhaps the most important, does your résumé make you feel good about yourself? Does it motivate you to apply for jobs? If it doesn’t inspire you, how do you think it’s going to inspire an employer? Time to think again.
When it comes to your job and building your career, if there isn’t a smile on your face right now, take responsibility and do something about it. The pathway is clear. Take that first step.
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