The Nuances to Writing a Great Resume

As I’m sure all of you know, writing resumes is a tricky thing. This week I worked with a client of mine who was trying to make a pretty dramatic career change. Her previous position was in the high tech industry, but she also took on the responsibility of planning some social events for the group. She enjoyed doing that and even took a class in event planning with a local college. The problem is that if I completely leave off her high tech experience, it’ll look like she’s a basic administrative assistant. If I put too much emphasis on it, the event planners will completely overlook her. techpiled

The challenge is to create a picture of her as a person. What is she really capable of handling?

A few weeks ago I attended a seminar put on by someone whose email newsletters I’ve been reading for a number of years. His style is very honest and he’s not afraid to take a stand about an issue in the Public Speaker industry. His emails also have a tone of arrogance in them when he gets worked up over his impatience with prospective clients or the industry. His honesty and strong opinions-which I didn’t always agree with, but could understand his point-gave me evidence that he knew what he was talking about. realisticmag

When I met him, I was pleased to discover that his personality comes through in his writing style. I actually found him nicer in person, but toward the end of the session, it was a tough 2 hours-I could see how his impatience starting to come through and a little bit of that arrogance of “I’ve MADE $1 Million with this system. Just LISTEN to me, I’m trying to HELP you!” I was actually a little relieved to see that because it proved that my instincts from reading him all those years were correct. I did introduce myself as a longtime reader and he was interested to know if he was coming across in his emails as he did in person. I could honestly say that he most definitely did.

That’s what a good, professionally written resume should do for you. It should describe you to the hiring manager in a way that they can get a feel for your personality and work style. What have you worked to achieve in prior positions? You only have 1 to 2 pages MAXIMUM to tell your story, so you have got to pick things that mean the most to you and best describe you.

Another client I worked with this week is an Actuary. Now, I really thought I was in deep trouble trying to come up with an interesting perspective for his resume-especially when all the job descriptions he forwarded me pretty much described the position as “1. Learn Company/Industry. 2. Perform Audit. 3. Present Audit.” YIKES! However, when I talked to him he described a few occasions where he found fraud in a company and people ended up going to jail because of what he found! Cool! He said that he was having a hard time explaining what an auditor does to the recruiters who called him. I have a feeling that once they read those descriptions I put on the resume that they’ll be duly impressed and picture him as an out-of-the-box thinker and definitely give him a call. It’ll be an entirely different conversation because his resume actually describes what he’s done in a very entertaining way. mommasays

So what does your resume say about you? I recommend that all of my clients put their resume through the 10 second test. Give a few job descriptions that you know you’re qualified for to a friend. The friend should not know all of the details about your background. Let them read the descriptions for as long as they need to until they completely understand what the hiring manager is looking for. Then give them your resume, a highlighter and 10 seconds. That’s it. That’s the MOST time that a hiring manager or recruiter will take to read your resume before they decide if it should go into the “I’ll look at that one later” pile, or the “Totally not interested” pile. If you end up in the Totally not interested pile-you’re done. They’ve got a lot of resumes to look through, and if your experiences relative to what they need-do not POP out at them, it’s over. Try the test and let me know how you make out. For more Info please visit these sites:-

I offer resume critiques for $75 where I’ll give you written and verbal feedback on how your resume reads to me. If you’d like me to redo it-I’ll even credit you the cost of the critique. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Have a great week!

Melanie Szlucha has been a hiring manager for 15+ years and a career coach for 6+ years through her company Red Inc.

What’s her motto? “Let’s Get Your A** A JOB!” She works with job seekers who are sick and tired of not getting results from sending out their resume, are going on interviews but not getting offers, or who are ready to throw in the towel because they’re flat out of ideas on where to look for a job.


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