Prove It And Get Hired

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: June 12, 2008 - 10:42 AM

Improve your resume and job interview skills by proving the claims in your resume and in the interview. Here's how.

Kevin Donlin

Photo: Jamie Hutt, StarTribune.com

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Think you're qualified for that job you want?

Prove it!

If you do, it's a sure bet that you'll get hired faster.

Here's how to do it by improving your resume and job interview skills in just one afternoon ...

1. First, prove the claims in your resume

Sadly, most resumes are full of puffed-up language and empty assertions -enough to make a hiring manager tear his or her hair out.

To illustrate, here's example language from a resume I recently got:

"Proven track record of developing and driving sales teams to deliver increased sales through organizational optimization, channel growth and major account expansion."

The technical term for such unsubstantiated verbiage, which manages to say almost nothing in 22 words, is crap.

Instead, you can improve your resume, prove your claims and get more interest from hiring managers, if you replace empty claims with specific facts.

Here's how I would revise that first bit, using the same 22 words:

"Experienced increasing revenue up to $342,500 per year by leading sales teams of 10-35 personnel, while managing/penetrating up to 34 major accounts."

See the difference? Specifics prove your claims, because readers assume a revenue gain of $342,500 actually happened, whereas they might be wary of assertions that you "delivered increased sales." Just be sure you can back up all specifics in writing!

Which leads me to another way to improve your resume - have others do the talking for you, via testimonials.

"Increasingly, I am seeing resumes in Word format that include testimonials about the candidate at the end of the document. The most effective of them have live links to Linkedin.com profiles of the people providing the endorsements," says executive recruiter Harry Joiner at www.marketingheadhunter.com.

All you need do is set up a free account at www.linkedin.com. Then ask former managers, clients and co-workers to endorse you. "Ideally, you should have testimonials for each job you have held," says Joiner.

Endorsements get posted to your Linkedin.com profile. You can then embed links to them in the Microsoft Word version of your resume. When readers click on the link, they are taken directly to your Linkedin.com profile, where the testimonial is displayed in full.

For example, you might include a testimonial like this at the end of your resume:

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Kevin Donlin