A cartoon caption read, “My resume is just a list of things I never want to do again!”
I laughed, but it gave me cause for concern.
If your resume is a list of the things you never want to do again in your lifetime, how do you expect to land a job doing the things you love?
Your resume is a vehicle to take you to your dream job, located at the intersection of the employer’s needs and the work you are passionate about doing.
Interview-generating resumes have seven common characteristics—what I call the 7 C’s of high-performing resumes.
1. Crisp, clean, color design
Create visual appeal with a contemporary resume design, conservative use of color, and classy fonts to grab the reader’s attention upon first glance.
2. Clear focus
Target your resume for the next step in your career path. Increase your resume’s performance by customizing each resume to a specific professional role. Laser-focused resumes outperform vague, generic resumes by as much as 10X.
3. Consideration of the employer’s needs
Use the prospective employer’s requirements to form the framework for your resume.
4. Captivating hook with a unique executive brand
Develop a value proposition statement that connects with the company’s mission and specific needs.
5. Correlation between your professional strengths and the job the employer needs done
Write a concise work history that proves you can do the job based upon successful past performance.
6. Concrete examples of key initiatives and results
Show the size/scope of projects you have led and the quantifiable benefits to the company in terms of revenue generated, dollars saved, or productivity gained.
7. Coherent writing that is well organized and error free
Review the overall organization and progression of ideas. Condense lengthy content into the most relevant and engaging talking points. Delete redundant wording. Edit judiciously for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Banish boring resumes filled with tasks you hate to do. Use these seven steps to write a high-impact resume that positions you as the best candidate for that once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity.
Do you like the ideas contained in this blog post, but don’t have the time or energy to implement them? Put Written by a Pro’s writing/editing team to work for you.
Would you like to learn a secret that professional resume writers use to save time and create compelling resumes? They use a ladder strategy, rather than a parachute approach.
Before I explain, let’s take a moment to review the basic anatomy of a resume: The assertions section makes specific claims that you are capable of doing the job while the evidence section provides a record of your accomplishments.
The assertions section includes the headline, tagline, and professional profile statement. Place your assertions in the top one-third to one-half of the first page. The evidence section includes your education, certification, professional associations and, of course, your employment history with performance highlights written in bullet points using the PSR format showing the:
To write your resume like a pro, start from the bottom of your resume and work to the top, saving the headline, tagline, and professional profile for last. Think of it as starting from the bottom rung of your career ladder and climbing up. This is much more effective than taking a parachute approach and writing from the top down for two reasons: The ladder strategy gives you an easier starting point and an overall view of your employment history.
Here’s a step-by-step plan for writing your first draft using the ladder strategy:
1. List memberships in professional organizations along with dates of membership and any leadership roles you held. Save your document and scroll up.
2. Above professional organizations, type in your education, certification, and any professional development courses. Save and scroll up.
3. Next, list your professional experience. Start with your oldest job (typically your first job out of college). Why? With the passage of time, you have gained a better perspective of your contributions to the company.
5. List your top 9-12 professional skills in a three-column table in the top 1/3 of your resume or create a functional listing of specific skills under each job description, or both.
6. Next, create a professional profile statement. Remember, your profile should be future-focused and position you for the next rung on your career ladder.
8. For the tagline, write your unique selling proposition, core value proposition statement, or competitive differentiation statement (similar concepts with differing terminology). Answer this question: How do you make a difference in the workplace?
9. Create your letterhead with your contact information and your headers for subsequent pages of your resume. Make sure your page breaks fall at appropriate places. Save your document and print.
10. Google the top 20 worst words to use in a resume. Now, scan your resume to see if you have used any of the overly used words and delete them wherever possible.
11. Proofread thoroughly.
Job Seeker, knowing these 12 tips and tricks from the pros will take the mystery out of writing your resume. However, if you find that writing about yourself is mind boggling, we’re here to help you strike the right balance between assertions and evidence and take the guesswork out of writing your career story. Starting with an in-depth interview and fit/gap analysis, we’ll create an authentic, purpose-driven, and focused resume that paints a positive yet realistic portrait of who you are and the value you bring to your next employer. Our mission is to help you land your dream job fast. Call us today at 912-656-6857.
© 2016, Sharla Taylor, Written by a Pro. All rights reserved.
Today, the Punctuation Police issued an all-points bulletin that reads, “Be on the lookout for a serial comma killer who goes by the initials A.P. Here’s what we know: The suspect has severed all ties with the Style Guide Gang, is estranged from his college buddies A.P.A. and M.L.A., and has disassociated from his colleagues Chicago and Gregg. We have uncovered evidence that A.P. has repeatedly erased commas falling before the word ‘and’ in a series of three or more items.”
Mission Possible spoke with another officer who told us, “In the beginning of his crime spree, A.P. was acting alone, armed with an eraser that was lethal to serial commas written in pen and pencil.”
A.P.’s mother cried, “I'm afraid that A.P. has lost all comma sense.”
The police officer added, “We believe A.P. has recruited the help of the backspace and delete keys on your computer keyboard. This is serious cause for concern.”
In light of this new development, we encourage job seekers to examine every list of three or more items found in their career correspondence to ensure no further loss of comma life.
In a statement to the media, the remaining members of the Style Guide Gang made this heartfelt plea to citizens, authors, and journalists: “Serial commas provide clarity and consistency in writing. They deserve to be protected in contemporary American usage.”
I’m Sharla Taylor, reporting live from Mission Possible Headquarters. We’re dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest happenings in the written world. Read more at “Punctuated with Humor.”
Copyright 2016 by Sharla Taylor. All rights reserved.
Today we're issuing an alert to all job seekers … accuracy is key.
Be certain that your LinkedIn profile and resume are consistent in every detail, especially regarding company names, job titles, and exact dates of employment. There should be no discrepancies. Why?
It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
- John Wooden, Head Basketball Coach at UCLA from 1948 -1975 who guided the Bruins to win 10 NCAA titles in his last 12 seasons before he retired.
If you want to win interviews and land a great job, be meticulous in reporting the details of your employment. Companies will verify your employment history, and inaccuracies could raise unwarranted red flags that may knock you out of consideration. Don’t be sidelined for lack of attention to detail.
Take time to gather the appropriate information.
The bottom line is that no one knows your employment history better than you do. Verify all personal information contained in your career documents. Ultimately, you are the last line of defense when it comes to accuracy on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Make sure all of your data is correct and consistent, both in print and online. Your attention to detail will impress decision makers at your new place of employment.
Cheering you on to score a great job with the compensation you deserve!
The Mission Possible Team
Today, we'd like to share an infographic created by Grad School Hub on the topic of resume lies.
Image compliments of Grad School Hub
A frustrated job seeker told me, “Shoot the Resume Robots! Can’t they see I’m qualified for the job?”
Although I shared her pain (computers have dehumanized the job search), I had to laugh. Her statement conjured up a vision of steely Resume-bots sorting through mountains of professional resumes and asynchronously reporting, “Applicant does not quality … does not qualify … does not qualify.” It had all the makings of a job seeker’s nightmare, or a B-rated movie.
For better or for worse, computerized resume screening tools are here to stay. While Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) make employers’ lives easier, they pose yet another obstacle for job seekers to overcome. What can you do to satisfy the gatekeeping robot? The answer is simple. Feed the computer the data it craves.
1. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements for the job posting.
If the job posting states, “Applicant must have x number of postgraduate credit hours” or names a minimum of specific courses required in order to be considered for the position, and you have none of the coursework, do not apply for the job. It will save you from receiving a computer-generated rejection notice.
If, however, the job posting reads “an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in a particular field or equivalent work experience” and you lack the educational requirements but have plenty of relevant work experience, then apply for the job. Send a resume and cover letter showing that you have the exact skill set the employer is seeking and why you would be a good fit for the position.
2. Pack your resume with truthful accomplishment statements that correlate to the job description. Focus on core competencies (think technical skills) that relate to the job posting. Omit irrelevant information. Customize each resume to the specific job posting but state genuine facts.
Front-load your accomplishment statements with quantifiers such as revenue gains, amount saved, or percentage increases in productivity. A job posting for a senior supply chain director asked for strong analytical and negotiation skills.
The job seeker listed “Global Distribution & Transportation Networks” and “Vendor Sourcing & Contract Negotiations” under his professional skills then went a step further to describe several accomplishments that showed his analytical and negotiation skills in action. However, he made the mistake of placing the results last.
Instead of writing, “Developed tools, processes, and reports used to analyze international small parcel shipping costs and led negotiations with carriers, which saved $1.2 million in small parcel shipping expense across all business units.”
Front load the quantifying terms. Rewrite the accomplishment statement to read, “Saved $1.2 million in small parcel shipping costs across all business units by analyzing international small parcel shipping expense and negotiating discounts with carriers.”
Do you see how moving the quantifier to the front of the bullet statement and shortening it makes it more powerful?
In summary, submit your application to those postings where you meet the minimum educational and experiential requirements, pack your resume with quantified accomplishment statements, and watch your interview rates soar. Satisfy the gatekeeping Resume Robots by spoon-feeding them the precise data they crave.
© 2014 Sharla Taylor – All rights reserved.
Your mission to land a great job fast begins by creating an attractive resume using classy fonts and a letterhead that presents your contact information in a professional manner.
Cyberspace is a dangerous place. Protect your privacy. If you are posting to a public job board, omit your street address. Your letterhead should display your name; your city, state, and zip code; one telephone number, and one email address.
In summary, the letterhead design and font you choose should suit your profession and personality.
Use the same letterhead on all your career correspondence (cover letter, resume, reference sheet, follow-up letter, etc.). Be sure to provide hyperlinks to your email and social media profile. Before you finalize the first draft of your resume, analyze your letterhead. Is it visually appealing? Is your contact information presented in a manner that makes it easy for a prospective employer to reach you? Remember, the top right corner is prime space for your phone number and email address.
Even in your letterhead, content is king if you want your phone to ring!
© 2014 Sharla Taylor – All rights reserved.
MISSION POSSIBLE: Land a Great Job Fast - USE CLASSY FONTS TO ENHANCE THE VISUAL APPEAL OF YOUR RESUME
To carry out your mission to land a great job fast, you must provide a top-notch resume to your future employer.
First impressions count. Design an attractive resume using classy fonts. There are two basic types of fonts: serif and sans- serif.
Serif fonts have small lines trailing from the top-and-bottom edges of the letters. Serif fonts give an elegant, formal appearance.
Some examples of serif fonts are:
Bookman Old Style
Goudy Old Style
Sans-serif fonts don’t have top-and-bottom lines on each character. Sans-serif fonts give a modern, minimalistic look.
Some examples of sans-serif fonts are:
Notice the difference in character height and width in the above-mentioned 12 pt. fonts. If you are having trouble squeezing text onto the page, consider changing typestyles. Avoid itty-bitty squint font. Choose a reasonable size font (10, 11, or 12 point for the body text and 12, 14, or 16 point for major headings). You will also notice that two fonts were intentionally left off the list: Arial and Times New Roman. Both are overused. Avoid them if you want your resume to stand out from the crowd.
You can creatively blend serif and sans-serif fonts in your resume. For section headers, use sans-serif fonts; for the body text, use serif fonts, or vice versa. Be judicious; do not mix more than two type styles in one resume.
Avoid script-like fonts. They are hard to read.
Don't use creepy fonts (like Matisse ITC) or outlandish fonts (like Neurochrome).
Your resume is not a playbill for a Broadway show.
Your resume is not a love note. No frilly or flowery fonts. Keep it simple and professional.
I share this advice with you because I like you and want you to succeed in your job search!
Don’t cram text into margins less than.75 width on all sides. Keep healthy margins. Leave enough white space throughout the document for optimum visual appeal. And that’s the straight skinny on fonts.
Be creative and professional in the design and layout of your resume.
Job seeker, this concludes the mission briefing for today. Check back soon for more details of how to write a resume that will generate interviews and help you land a great job fast.
© 2014 Sharla Taylor – All rights reserved.
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Savannah Christian Church. He also draws exquisite portraits! Austin's favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.