Tag: resume tips


Look Out! Here Comes a Truth Bomb About Your Resume

Truth Bomb:  Your Resume is Not About You!

Shock is the reaction I usually get when I say what I’m about to say. Your resume is not about you. Thinking it is, is one of the biggest mistakes people make when writing their resume. Here’s what I mean:

A few weeks ago, I was working with two different people to help them polish up their resumes. One was a client seeking a pay raise and promotion. The other was one looking for a new job following a downsize. Resumes for both clients had the same common mistake: they were void of any results or accomplishments from their past jobs or positions. This is a HUGE mistake because that’s the one thing people reviewing resumes are looking for the most!

When I first suggested to each client we add in some results of their past work so their resume doesn’t read like a generic job ad, one said, “I was just there to do a good job, I wasn’t seeking any kind of glory.” While this is a noble approach to good work, job seekers have to understand that including accomplishments on their resume is not about them. The moment you say, “I don’t want/like to brag,” is the moment you’ve made it all about you.

Resume Truth:  It’s about them!

Including results of your past work on your resume and talking about those results in an interview or a performance review IS NOT ABOUT YOU! It’s about what you can do for the company’s bottom line, which is all the hiring manager really cares about (typically and mostly).

Your resume should always speak to your audience’s pain points by showing how you can solve their problem. The way you show this is including the results and accomplishments you’ve had when solving similar problems in your previous jobs.

The reader knows that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. They’ll want to learn more about you if you can show how you’ve excelled in the past in problem solving. But you have to speak their language. And you must connect the dots between your past experience and your audience’s current needs.

How to Make It All About Them

In order to do this, you must know something about your audience. This is why you must research the company you’re applying to. This is also why you can’t rely on one blanket resume for each job.

It’s important to really analyze the job ad to figure out what they need from the new person in that role. Start by looking at what are the top 3–5 skills listed in the requirements for the job. Can you think of a specific time when you’ve demonstrated each skill? What was the result? Can you quantify the result? How did it impact the company’s bottom line?

  • Did it increase profit or revenue? By how much?
  • Did it decrease spending? By what percentage?
  • Did it save man hours? How does that translate to dollars saved?
  • Did it increase customer satisfaction or decrease customer complaints? By what percentage?
  • Did it make processes more efficient? How much time did this save?
  • Did it boost staff morale? How much did productivity increase with this boost?

By showing the byproducts of your good work, the hiring manager can infer that you can and will produce similar results for them. Not sharing those results will leave the manager wondering if you’ll be a productive and valuable addition to the payroll. Don’t leave your audience in the dark!

The result of including results

Defining your results and being able to articulate them tactfully is one of the biggest challenges of a job search or promotion negotiation, but there is help. I work in depth with my clients on how to properly word their results and accomplishments for both their resumes and their responses to interview questions.

By doing this, my clients gain a better understanding of their skillset and greater confidence in their net worth, resulting in successful salary negotiations, higher salary offers, and better promotions.

Are you looking to get hired, earn more, or advance in your career? If so, now’s the time to learn how to do it with a little paNASH! Click here to get started.

Related Posts

Why You Should Update Your Resume Every 6 Months (Re-Post)

Does your current resume get you as many interviews as you’d like? Or does it just seem to end up in a black hole in cyber space?

I have a lot of clients updating their resumes right now. Their reasons for doing so vary. Some are leaving their current company but want to continue working in their field with another company. Others are moving to a new city or state. Some are looking to change industries all together. 

Update Your Resume Every 6 Months

It’s important to keep your resume updated, even when you’re not changing careers or seeking a new job. I tell all my clients they should update their resume every six months, regardless of their current work situation. Why? Because:

  1. It’s much easier to remember what you’ve done in the past six months than trying to remember what you’ve done in the past six years.
  2. You never know when you may lose your current job and have to start looking for a new one.
  3. You may have to provide a copy of your resume for reasons other than trying to find a new job. 

For instance, if you’re up for a promotion, or if you’re asked to present or speak at a conference, you may be asked for a copy of your resume. 

Last year I worked with someone who’d been in the music industry for about 20 years and found himself suddenly out of work and looking for a job. He’d never updated his resume over the course of those 20 years. However, when I had to help him put together a new resume, he was scrambling to try to remember results, accomplishments, dates, and other necessary details for a resume. It took us a little longer to complete his resume since he’d not kept up with it during his career.

Include Results to Get Results

When making your updates to your resume, always remember to include your accomplishments and results of your hard work. This is necessary to land an interview. If your resume only lists your job duties, it will end up in a black hole in cyber space. Or worse, in the trash.

Recruiters want to see what you’ve done for your past employers. For instance, have you made them money, saved them money, saved them time, increased efficiency or improved customer satisfaction? If you can show you’ve previously done these things and can quantify them, recruiters will assume you’ll be able to do the same for their company.

Most people struggle to come up with accomplishments for their resume. I you properly word your accomplishments so your resume will get you more interviews. When you include results on your resume, you see results in your job search!

Learn How to Write a Stellar Resume

 

update your resume

Updating your resume not only helps you stay prepared for the unexpected, but it also gives you a sense of achievement, rejuvenates you, and helps you brainstorm future work opportunities and projects.

To learn how to improve your resume and get more interviews, register for the on-demand program Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed. In this program I teach you how to properly word your accomplishments in a way that grabs the reader’s attention. I also provide some of the best resume advice you’ve heard in 20 years!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Should You Share Your Passions on Your Resume?

I’ve critiqued resumes for nearly 20 years, and oftentimes I’ll see an “Interests” section on a resume. One of the most memorable “Interests” sections I saw included “eating peanut butter.” Yes, you read that right. Someone actually put on her resume she likes to eat peanut butter. And she wasn’t applying for a job as a taste-tester at Skippy!

Clients will ask me, “Should I have an ‘Interests’ section on my resume?” and there’s no right or wrong answer to this. Allow me to make this a little clearer.

When it’s wrong to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough room on your resume because of all the great accomplishments and results you have listed from your work experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  accomplishments are KING on a resume. This is what your reader most wants to see, so give your audience what they want first.
  • When your life passions are totally unrelated to the job for which you’re applying. Again, know your audience!
  • When your life passions may initially be viewed as odd. While liking peanut butter it is not unusual, it could seem strange to include it on a resume. (All I could picture was her with peanut butter smeared all over her face – not a picture of professionalism!)

When it’s right to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough work experience to fill a full page.
  • When your life passions might be relevant to the job. For example, if you love golf and the job will require you to take clients on golf outings to network and close sales, then it’s appropriate. Or, if you’re passionate about playing basketball and the job requires you to work with youth in an after school program that promotes healthy living, then it’s appropriate.
  • When your life passions are relevant to your work passions and have prepared you for the skills needed in the job. For instance, if you like doing improv, that skill is often a basis for good sales skills. A love for blogging can be a plus for a job requiring strong writing and/or social media skills. A passion for coaching little league can translate into good leadership skills.
  • If you’ve completed a passion project that would be of interest to your reader and would showcase your skills.

Always be professional

Whatever you choose to include, always make sure you present it in a way that looks and sounds professional. Perhaps it makes sense to include it on a section other than an “Interests” section. Or, maybe you rename the section heading to “Work-Related Passions” (which sounds more dynamic and attention-grabbing than “Interests,” don’t you think?).

Also, help the reader connect the dots on how your passions will benefit the company. Remember, your resume isn’t about you. It’s about the company and what you can do for them! Let your passion for them shine through in your resume, your interview, and all of your communication and interactions with them.

For more tips on what to include and what not to include on your resume, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter. I’ll send out announcements for the on-demand Resumes That Get You the Interview program, due out later this month.

paNASH Success Story: A better resume results in more interviews

I recently heard from a client whom I helped overhaul her resume for a career change. She made the changes I’d suggested for her resume, and ended up with seven phone interviews for opportunities from Maine to California. She has four more interviews lined up next week. Here’s what she had to say:

The new resume is working and you’re to thank! It looks good and the response so far has been very positive. I just had to be patient during the quiet season.

The quiet season she’s referring to is the time right around the holidays when hiring goes down. There’s an ebb and flow to hiring practices. Hiring, especially within certain industries, have their own seasons, much like sports do! So your patience is important during the down times.

Avoid a Cookie-Cutter Resume

What’s interesting about this case is my client came to me with a resume she’d had critiqued by a professional resume writing service. While the advice the service provided wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was somewhat out-dated. In fact, most of the info on the Internet in regards to resumes is very outdated.

Her resume was also what I call “cookie-cutter.” There was nothing about her resume that made it stand out from the competition. You can’t run the risk of having a cookie-cutter resume that doesn’t stand out among others’ or even your own. What do I mean by “your own”? You can’t use the same resume for every job for which you apply! It must be tailored to each and every job, and there are certain ways to do this.

This client’s original resume also didn’t include the “secret weapons” I share with my clients. Want to know what those secret weapons are? I’ll soon be sharing them in my upcoming on-demand coaching program due out this spring (subscribe here for updates). I’m also always available for a personalized resume critique in a one-on-one coaching session. Email me at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com to schedule a resume and LinkedIn profile critique!