How I Transform Mediocre Documents into Interview Winning Resumes
I remember when I first earned my CPRW and wrote my very first resume for a paying customer. I was beyond excited to share my writing talents and job search prowess with my client! AND it was the best feeling to help someone overcome unexpected layoff.
Fast forward a few years. Instead of building my own client base, I turned to ghostwriting for other firms. Early on, I accepted a role (or two) with a writing mill that required writers stuff every single job seeker into the same box using the identical formatting for each and every document. (Hint: This is not the method to use if you want to stand out and shorten your job search.)
I firmly believe we are all created with our own unique gifts and strengths and that each person’s individuality should shine through on their resume. Rather than continuing to settle for plug-in-play gigs, I went to work studying and learning everything I could about how to hone my resume writing abilities and take my content and strategy development skills to the top tier. A good portion of my ‘hands-on’ training was through serving as a ghostwriter for top-level resume writing firms located throughout the world and earning multiple certifications (CCST, CMRW, CERW, ACRW, CARW, CHJMC).
In my 2+ decades of offering signature resume writing services, I’ve been able to help thousands of job seekers harness the power of words and win coveted interviews. And, you know what???? I love helping people overcome layoff, transition into new employment opportunities, and knock the socks off of hiring managers!
Here is the first thing you need to know + remember when writing your own resume … your resume isn’t about you. Instead, it is about answering how you are the solution to your next employer’s pain points.
Now, let’s look at the 5 critical keys to writing an interview-winning resume that will help position you to win more interviews:
1. Open with a Dynamic Branding Statement
Even in the COVID-era, the job market is competitive and hiring managers and recruiters review hundreds of resumes. The savviest job seekers leverage the power of a branding statement to distinguish themselves from other candidates.
To create your personal branding statement, think about where you shine the brightest, how you add value, and deliver high-impact results.
Marketing Communications Leader: Translate Corporate Vision into Engaging Media Outreach and Public Relations Strategies that Drives Traffic and Increases Revenue
The goal is to highlight who you are professionally (Marketing Communications Leader) and your area of expertise (translating corporate vision into engaging media outreach …).
2. Follow with a Targeted Career Summary
Immediately following your branding statement, write a brief, but targeted, summary of your career. If you are asking “why” targeted?
The answer is … because the focus is on the employer’s pain points and how your thought leadership, experience, and skills are the ANSWER to the challenges they are facing.
3. Include a Highlight Reel of Top Accomplishments
Too many times we overlook or underestimate the value of our achievements but showcasing our accomplishments and the value we deliver to our employer or clients is what sets us apart from other high achievers!
Create a section on the first page and near the top of your document where you can present the reader with a ‘highlight reel’ of your top three to five accomplishments.
Each bullet-pointed statement is focused on the results you delivered and not the tasks you performed.
- Increased quarterly revenue $250K by repairing relationships with key accounts … vs. Responsible for reviewing existing accounts.
- Onboarded $5M in new business …. vs. Responsible for developing pipeline of new accounts.
- Trimmed $400K from inventory … vs. Tracked and managed warehouse inventory.
4. Root Your Experience Section in Value
When writing about your experience, look beyond the tasks and duties you performed and focus on how you delivered results. Hiring managers know the requirements of the position and, if you are applying, you most certainly have the skills and experience to fulfill the standard duties.
For each employment entry, provide a brief overview of the scope of the role and then bullet points that highlight the results you delivered.
5. End with Education + Training + Certifications
What degree did you earn? What school did you graduate from? Unless you are a recent grad or really knocked your GPA out of the park, forego listing your grade point average, scholarships,or college awards. Especially if you have years of real-world, hands-on experience.
Take a look at my award-winning resume example here: