Donlin: Your Resume Makeover

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: July 9, 2008 - 11:26 AM

Here's a fast, easy way to make a dramatic improvement in your resume.

Here's a fast, easy way to make a dramatic improvement in your resume.

How? Focus it entirely on the employer and his or her needs. Put your desires for career advancement, higher pay, increased job satisfaction, etc., a distant second.

Because, to get hired in this economy, the underlying message of your resume must be this: "Here's how I can help you, Mr./Ms. Employer." This will set you apart from 90-95% of your competition, whose resumes say, in effect: "Give me a job!"

See the difference?

It's a subtle mind-shift that builds immediate rapport with the reader of your resume. And it can pay off big for you.

Here are some "before" and "after" examples from actual resumes.

Example Objective - Before
To obtain a Mid-Level Management position with a stable organization.

Well, who wants to work for an "unstable" organization? Why make demands of readers in the first sentence? Watch it -- every word counts, and the wrong ones can get your resume off on the wrong foot!

Example Objective -- After
Position where five years of management and banking experience will add value.

Here, we clearly state how many years of experience you're offering the employer, while also including your knowledge of banking. And we end by saying that you want to add value. Who wouldn't want to hire -- or at least meet -- someone like that?


Here's another example, this time of a typical sentence from the body of a resume.

Example Sentence -- Before
"Worked with staff and vendors to eliminate slow-moving products."

This is an empty statement. There's no benefit. What happened when you did your job well? Was money made or saved? If so, say so!

To improve almost every area of your resume, keep this phrase in mind as you recall your on-the-job duties: "AS A RESULT." Stick those words on the end of everything you've done and see what you come up with.

Example Sentence -- After
"Worked with staff and vendors to eliminate slow-moving products. As a result, increased product turnover 15% and sales $23,000 in five months."

Big difference!

Specific results excite employers. When they see that you've done good things for others, they'll want you on their team.

So, be sure your resume is aimed at solving an employer's problems and is chock full of results. As a result of doing that, you'll get more calls for interviews, in any economy.

Kevin Donlin is at kevin@gresumes.com

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