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  • professional resumeAs professional resume writers, we can always tell which of our clients is most serious about their career trajectory. The answer usually lies in the first question that they ask when calling. Usually, if the first question that come out in an initial inquiry involves the price, this is a sign that they may not be fully versed on just how important the document is. This is not to say that one should pay any price for the product. This is still America, and everyone loves a great deal. But if you are making a decision on whether or not to seek professional resume services based upon the cost, then you may not truly understand its impact on not only your frequency of securing interviews, but also the opening offer from the employer.

    Now, when a caller is first question is about finding out if you have what it takes to get them into the interview door, this is usually someone who understands the purpose of the exercise. These individuals see professional resume writing as an investment in their career, advance, and net worth building. When one is only concerned with the cost, your decision is made from a position of short-term viewpoint. Have you ever considered what the actual cost is to you up and ineffective resume? I once had a client who try for 18 months to get on with an employer who was in the door within 3 weeks after the completion of her resume. Now, how much money did she lose over the course of those 18 months?

    First, let’s make no mistake. When it comes to a resume, you are always better off with professional help than without it. Just think of the numbers. The average corporation receives 250 resumes per opening and you likely need to be in that top 3 to 5 % just to get into that interview door. So do your due diligence and find someone who understands how to market someone on paper. Next, when looking for someone to prepare your resume, the most important factor is that they have the skills to properly frame your experience, training, education, and skill set for hiring managers. Regardless of how expensive cheap the resume, if you are not convinced that the professional resume writer possesses the skills, then any feedback they are asking is too much. I don’t know about you, but even if you find someone willing to take a crack at it for $65, if it does not achieve the objective, didn’t you just throw away $65?

    It is time to change how you view and categorize your resume in your mind. You should not see it as some expense to get a hold of a piece of paper. If your head is on straight, and you are taking your career seriously, you will see it as valuable investment that optimizes your interview frequency, resulting in finding employment sooner and getting the best offer that you can get.

    And isn’t that what it is all about, ladies and gentlemen?

  • good-resumeHaving a good battle for your resume plan is important. Yes, a good resume definitely requires some thought as to its overall strategy. What are the requirements of the position? Who is the audience? How many competitors are you likely looking at? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do you best highlight them (or blur them) in a good resume? These are all valuable considerations in determining the approach you need to take to build a resume that will bring consistent success. But as is the case with any project, there is only so much planning that you can do before it gets down to whether or not you take action.

    Once you have given the strategy some thought, push it to the side for a second. Why? Because as you progress through the project, some aspects of that writing strategy may need to be amended based upon factors such as spacing, or simply how the content is blending. What you want to do is just start. That’s right, JUST START! Instead of beginning with the summary and core competencies (slightly more abstract in nature from a development standpoint), go with the more concrete information – your professional experience. After all, when it comes to your experience, there really isn’t much that is abstract about it. What you did and achieved is, well, what you did and achieved. Now, you will want to give consideration to the most important aspects to your future reader. But this is usually the bulk of the grunt work and going through this process will help when it is time to tackle the profile section, where you will “frame the argument” for calling you in.

    The truth is that you can easily end up in a vicious cycle of doubt and changing strategies – constantly reassessing the approach because there is no anchor in place to keep you with one train of thought. But when you commit to at least laying out the basics of a good resume, you begin to get into a flow that helps pull you right through the rest of the project.

  • resume strategyIf you are fortunate enough to have had a long and successful career in one field and you are pursuing another position in the same area, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. For most job seekers, the search is more about survival than it is for career satisfaction. As we all know, the wider the net you can cast, the more likely you are to land something viable. However, this does not come without its challenges when it comes to resume strategy.

    Your resume can only hold so many characters and so many words. Additionally, your reader is only looking for so many skills, experiences, and qualifications. So the built-in challenge becomes “How does one develop a resume flexible enough for multiple goals, while focusing enough on any one reader to draw interest for an interview”?

    The answer to whether a viable resume target mix is possible depends upon WHICH employment targets are being pursued. For a resume to achieve any kind of consistency in performance, it must quickly communicate (usually within 10 seconds) that there is enough of a match for the HR manager or recruiter to explore further. Now, if our reader has to wade through totally unrelated content before getting to what matters to them, you will lose them. So the secret of a successful multi-targeted resume depends upon the commonality of the qualifications.

    For example, a resume strategy involving the targets Database Administrator and IT Project Manager, is likely to perform better than one for designed for a Database Administrator and Librarian. Think of your employment targets as being physical targets 30 feet in front of you. Then, consider your resume to be one handful of rocks. The farther apart the targets, the more difficult it will be to hit them with that one handful of rocks. But the closer together they are, the easier it will be.

    As a resume development strategy, it is recommended that you first prioritize the targets. Then, it is best to develop the resume to ensure that the primary target is fully addressed. Next, you would want to then begin integrating as much of the second target into the resume as possible. If you begin to notice a sort of dissonance between the content for each, you are going down the wrong path. The resume’s content should not fight against itself for attention. When this happens, think of how your reader will absorb this. While reviewing the documents, they will wonder why 50% of the information is even in front of them. At this point, you have lost the battle.

    There is nothing wrong with a diverse job search. In fact, for many people it is a necessity. But what will never change is that you must have the right tool to do any job. A resume that tries to cover too much ground will fail more often than it will succeed. When your employment goals have too many uncommon elements, you will simply need another resume to ensure both give you the results you seek.

    Be objective when it comes to your resume strategy development. It may be tempting to attempt to cover everything in one document, but remember, you are not the audience. Your readers are really pressed for time and do not want to go through the 200-plus resumes that have been handed to them. Make it too difficult to see your value and, well, let’s just say your search continues, shall we?

  • entry level resumeIt is no mystery to anyone who has ever sought guidance on how to write a resume. Brevity is key to keeping your reader’s attention. Of course, one does not want to bite off one’s nose to spite one’s face. There are times when the approach to a resume is too choppy and the punch is not delivered with the power needed to convey the qualifications. There is erroneous advice often given (and sometimes by career professionals) that no resume should exceed one page. But for a professional with 15 years of experience to communicate, one page won’t do. But what about our entry level resume people out there? Well, for you, the one-page entry level resume approach is a MUST.

    If you are an entry level candidate, be it a new college grad or someone transitioning into a different field, there is only so much you can say that will be of interest to the hiring authority. If you received your degree in engineering this past May and have four jobs in the fast food industry, the hiring authority will not be interested in several lines of detail on your back-of-house job description. There is no reason this information should take up 70% of the page space in your entry level resume. Instead, take your reader on a journey into your education, training, certifications, and technical skills. Trimming detail from your professional experience entries will ensure that your reader’s time and attention stays focused on where it should be. Let’s not forget that the valuable white space added to the document gives your reader’s eyes a rest. After all, what if your resume is the 145th of 175 entry level resume submissions they will be reading that day? Remember, the average resume has only 6 to 10 seconds to impress.

    When it comes to entry level positions, the hiring authority will not expect you to have experience. So there is no need to pepper into the entry level resume work experience of another kind just to have it. The position’s skeleton itself is important (job title, employer name, date range) because it gives them a needed information for background checks and communicates your ability to hold gainful employment. Also, if you have any highlights in those positions that can communicate your ability to rise above your peers and contribute, this can have some value. But be sure to stop there. If you want your entry level resume to bear fruit.

  • laptop and notebookEvery now and then, the subject comes up at to whether or not hiring a resume writer is considered perpetrating a fraud upon the reader. Usually, those who are asking the question do not truly understand the hiring process is supposed to achieve. Or just not thinking about it. Let’s use an example to illustrate the point.

    A company finds itself in need of a top-notch business development professional. There are several critical qualifications of each applicant they will want to consider. However, this critical juncture in the sourcing and hiring process also involves limited reader time and concentration. After all, you are looking at anywhere from dozens to hundreds of resumes that need to be reviews prior to selecting the lucky interviewees. Now, if our esteemed HR professional has to review 175 resumes in order to find 15 qualified and this needs to be done by end of business tomorrow, what type of document do you believe this professional would want to see? Do you believe this individual would want to wade through poorly organized resumes to determine our business development professional’s network building skills, presentation development acumen, or sales closing skills?

    Think of it this way: is someone misrepresenting themselves in a court of law when they hire an attorney to speak on their behalf? Of course not. A smart person knows that in order to get the desired legal judgment, they need someone who knows the process and has the resources to quickly get and interpret the information necessary for their defense. What a professional resume writer does for their clients is similar in nature to what an attorney does for theirs. We help our clients to navigate the process by avoiding the pitfalls that can hurt your cause. You can bet that our HR professional does not care who wrote the resume. As long as it clearly and honestly communicates our professional’s relevant skill set in a way that can be easily digested, they will be happy.

    After all, do you believe our hiring authority really cares about the resume writing skill of a rainmaker who can bring home a $38 million account? Nah, me either.

  • resume strategy tipsWhen one decides to become an entrepreneur, it comes with inherent risks. Not every business is going to make it. Sometimes, it just isn’t in the cards. When you’re forced to shut the doors (or at least do so temporarily), it then becomes time to dust off the ol’ resume that you have been using to scout out investors, business loans, and clients. But wait a minute. Your audience is now different. What you will be looking to communicate will be different. How they read the document will be different. As such, your resume must follow suit. Here are some resume writing tips on bringing that entrepreneur resume closer in line with what your new reader needs to see.

    Resume Strategy Tips 1: Leave the “Jack of All Trades” Angle Back with the Business License

    Many job seekers believe that employers and hiring managers want to see a resume that demonstrates the breadth of your experience and demonstrates your versatility. And erroneously so. Recruiters and HR personnel are crunched for time. When attempting to fill a position, they are worried about solving a specific set of problems. When retooling your resume, take into account what problems the reader will be looking to solve and make this the focus of the resume strategy. Remember when Liam Neesen told those kidnappers that he “had a particular set of skills”? Follow his lead, folks.

    Resume Strategy Tips 2: Minimize the Business Ownership Emphasis

    In most cases, hiring managers are afraid of entrepreneurs. The fear comes from the potential to lose the new hire to yet another business opportunity that our free spirited friend might come across. Or perhaps the candidate is using the job to supplement income until the ship rights itself, and then planning to leave. Training new employees has a real cost. Some believe it costs up to 9 months’ salary every time an employee has to be replaced. Here is another article on the subject of training costs. Forget the “Owner” or “Proprietor” titles. (Check your ego at the unemployment office, my friend). The good news is that as the owner of the business, you have likely worn many hats. Hats that can be used to populate your new resume. So if you are seeking a Business Development Manager position, you likely did a good deal of business development for your business. Why not use that as your job title?

    Resume Strategy Tips 3: Structure the Resume for Brevity

    The resume you developed for that investor or business banking loan officer was prepared for a captured audience. These individuals are usually prepared to comb over that resume and the rest of your documentation before making a decision. But in the job search arena, your resume usually has less than 10 seconds to deliver its message. Then the reader moves on to the next resume. Be sure you layout and design are conducive to visual navigation ease. Check for superfluous language in your sentence structure. Look for low-relevance concepts.

    Transitioning back to the salaried world is a big adjustment in mindset and approach, especially when it comes to the buildout of your new resume. But one thing has never changed: you always take into account your audience and environment when developing any form of communications. Picking up valuable tips can always help. But trust me when I tell you: the touch of a certified professional resume writer is likely improve your results even more. But if for some reason time is not on your side, these tips will at least give you a better shot at getting the interview.

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