Resume or Marketing Tool? Marketing is the action or promotion of selling products or services, and if you apply this to the resume writing process, you might just sell yourself and wind up receiving a paycheck!
Job applications now require a targeted response, especially in a flooded market. This requires a shift in mindset to put yourself in the shoes of a future employer. Making your resume/application less about you (even though it's all about you) and more about the employer, as this is ultimately who you are selling too, you will start to see a shift in application results.
Most people still thinking traditionally will:
1. Blurt out everything they've ever done on a piece of paper
2. Send out 100 "generic" resumes casting a wide net hoping to get a bite.
3. Wonder why they don't ever get a response
So let's have a look at why this can be detrimental to your job search and why you're treading water and not getting anywhere.
Think of it like this:
You are the "PRODUCT";
The employer of choice is the "BUYER";
Your resume is the "SHINY FLYER".
It should be short, concise and punchy. Eye-catching, engaging and compel the reader to (a) keep reading or better (b) take action, such as invite you to #interview. This is the purpose of a resume, and the ultimate result, snag the INTERVIEW.
Start thinking like your future employer or BUYER and what they want to see...do they care that you worked at the local video shop or Maccas when you were 16, probs not. Same as if you are looking to buy a pair of sensible boots, and all you keep seeing are ads for sexy heels.
So what do they want to see? The answer is in the job description. When applying for a role, you want to get as close to the job description as possible. They want to see someone who has been successful in the past with relevant examples to the role they are hiring for.
For example, the role is for a Store Manager or Team Leader, and the employer is looking for Leadership skills. It's one thing to say you have leadership skills (everyone does that); it's another thing to prove it. This is what separates you from the crowd.
That means deleting the laundry list of duties and responsibilities on your resume and replacing them with achievements that focus on leadership that consist of an ACTION plus a RESULT.
So break it down. Have a brainstorming session; what does leadership mean to you? Team Management? Staff Development? Staff Retention? Training and Development? Staff progression? Coaching and Mentoring?
Great, now dive back into your career history and think about a role when these were applicable. Did you coach someone? How? Why? What was the outcome? Did that person go on to achieve great results? Did they become a leader as a result of your leadership? Increased productivity? A change in attitude?
See what I'm getting at here? So instead of saying, "I have excellent leadership skills," you can prove it by saying something like:
"Coached and mentored employees through specialised training and personal development that saw a noticeable improvement to work ethics and productivity."
Sounds better right?
The employer can now picture you in action, understand what you did, how you did it, and see your work's direct result. This translates to "this person understands leadership; they get it, I can see they have been successful in this role. Tick, tick, tick!"
So, by targeting the role, you can really start to appeal to the employer (or BUYER) by serving them what they're asking for, instead of a bunch of useless information that just takes up space on the page, all because you think it’s supposed to be there. After all, that is what you were taught, that is what you must do...pfft!
This also addresses point 2, sending out 100 generic resumes. If you were the employer, what would you prefer to see? A document that speaks to you because it’s been written for you or a generic resume with most of the information on it entirely irrelevant for you.
Now not only do you have a punchy, compelling achievement on your resume, but you’ve also set yourself up for an interview by identifying this example. It is now super easy for you to dive deeper into this example at the interview instead of sitting there stumped trying to come up with an impressive answer. 2 for the price of 1...yippee!
Remember, there is no right or wrong way...your resume does not have to conform. Push the boundaries, try something different, a new perspective or approach. What is the worst that can happen? You don't hear back from a job application? Well, that's no different to where you are now.
So what have you got to lose? A different approach could mean for your next application that the phone rings, your inbox dings, and the next thing you know, you are being interviewed.