There are a lot of tips, tricks and secrets for writing a dynamic resume. A resume is the most basic tool for a job search, yet it is so important. Whether you fill out an online application, download a file, attach a copy to an email or a send a hard copy by snail mail, the resume is the premier marketing tool with you as the product.
“Mad Men” is a popular TV show about how advertising agencies create marketing campaigns and persuasive advertisements to persuade the public to buy a product. Some ads are straightforward. Some are funny and outrageous. Infomercials promise miracles from simple products that can make you thinner, cook food faster and make you a millionaire without any effort. These advertisements are so persuasive that a lot of people willingly give up their hard earned money.
The problem with persuasive advertising is what happens when the product arrives and it isn’t what was promised. You can always send it back and hopefully get your money back. But with a resume, if the product – you – isn’t what the resume promised, you don’t get the job. Doing a sales job with an enhanced resume may get you an offer, but sooner or later the truth comes out and you may be out, too.
Your one best chance is to take who you are with your experience, skills, interests, education and life experience and present it in the best way possible. There are three rules every resume must abide by.
1. Accurate. The information has to be true. If you were a supervisor, making yourself a manager on your resume doesn’t make it so. Inflating the number of your direct reports or size of the budget you managed may slip past an interviewer, but you can be setting yourself up for responsibilities you aren’t equipped to handle in a new job. Job information is available on your resume, on LinkedIn and even on social media sites, like Facebook and MyLife. Employers use these sites to learn more about an applicant, and if the information doesn’t match up, your resume becomes suspect.
2. Your voice. If you write your own resume, it will have your style, phrasing and writing style. A professional resume writer should put together an impressive resume while capturing your personality as well.
3. Defendable. Will your references confirm the details on your resume about accomplishments when you worked together? Will your college transcripts confirm your degree, GPA and other education details? I once had a general manager request a copy of an applicant’s last paycheck stub to verify his last salary level. You never know what an employer might ask for or how thoroughly they screen applicants.
One of the standard questions for applicants is, “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how honest are you?” Now, the right answer is “10.” Anything less than 10 means you’re not honest part of the time. A false statement on your resume makes all the information suspect. Follow the three rules for every resume and you can confidently answer any questions or pass the toughest scrutiny.
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