Whether you’re working up a virtual resume or going the paper route, your resume needs heft and depth or it is not worth the pixels or the paper it is written on. Heft doesn’t necessarily mean length, and depth is definitely not a mile-long list of your experience with tons of stuff you did. The heft is all about what you accomplished, and the depth is what value you added to the organization.
Face it: for every lengthy, wordy, braggadocio-laced resumé vying for the attention of the interview committee’s gatekeeper, there are ten more jostling in the pile eliciting that reviewer’s groan, “Here we go again.”
OK, so you worked as an IT specialist and you were the Cisco Kid at your last job before they reorganized and the icy hand of budget cuts sliced your position out from under you. You did some real productive work and your job description was truly impressive.
So you need to write that up and update your growing resumé and start the job search anew. You are trained, qualified and experienced, but so are the other folks who were cut loose from you last organization. What do you need to position in your resumé to get a foot in the door of the interview room and that coveted second interview?
Consider this two-pronged strategy in organizing your resumé. Divide the experience section into succinct and concise job description followed by a descriptive emphasis of what you actually contributed and accomplished. Use these steps:
1. Don’t ramble on and on about “duties and responsibilities.” The job description is important, but whoever reads your description most likely knows all that. Don’t preach to the choir. Keep that part short and to the point. Lay off the bloviating verbiage and boiler plate stuff that might stimulate your ego, but will definitely bore your reviewer.
2. Now answer this question: What did you contribute to that employer by getting dressed each day and reporting to work? You need to articulate and describe everything that made it worthwhile signing your paycheck. That “everything” is what value you added to the organization. Make a list and write it up. Draw attention to those accomplishments by giving them their own space and labels.
Look at your resumé as bait to feed the impersonal, hungry job market. If you coat that bait with insubstantive fluff, you’ll be buried. You need to add the red meat of accomplishments and convince the prospective employer that you’re worth their investment in time, space and salary.
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