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Two of the most important characteristics of a resume are that the resume must be Results (not task) Oriented And Relevant to potential employers. Unfortunately, many resumes present the reader with life histories and/or restated job descriptions (task oriented) rather than statements of accomplishments (results oriented). Furthermore, many resumes do not clearly state how the potential employer will benefit from hiring the potential employee. They leave that to the potential employer to determine. These two problems may lead to the resume being ignored.
- Review your resume. If you have an existing resume, review (or ask a friend, colleague or family member to review it). For each statement under the experience section ask Does this statement come closer to describing what I was told to do, that is could it appear in my job description or does it come closer to reflecting what I really accomplished?
- For example, if you worked in a store, stating Opened the store would be more of what you were told to do. Achieved 100% sales award would be more of an accomplishment.
- Remove task oriented statements. For each statement that appears to be more of a job description or "told to do", ask Would a potential employer with reasonable knowledge be able to infer this statement knowing my job title? If so, the task oriented statement is adding little or no value to your resume and is using up your potential employers goodwill reading it. Remove it.
- Add results oriented statements. Your resume may look a bit empty at this point. If so, ask yourself What did I really accomplish on the job? See if there are statements which reflect each accomplishment for each position. For example, the following accomplishments might have been omitted from the resume and should be added:
- Sold more products than other employees on my shift
- Praised for outstanding customer service by management
- Have more repeat customers than any other sales representative
- Suggest additional useful products to customers, increasing sales by 25%
- Customer satisfaction rating of 90%.
- Reformat the experience section of your resume, and reread it. It should be more Results Oriented at this time. Iterate on this process many times. Even after weeks of iterating, you will undoubtedly continue to find room for improvement.
- Add relevancy statement. Now, you need to make the resume Relevant to the employer. Determine what position you are applying for and write a few phrases explaining how your results (from the experience part of your resume) make you the world's best (or as close as you can come to it) candidate for the job you are applying for. For example: Eager to apply my experience as an award winning cashier, outstanding customer service representative, and engaging team leader to manage the front end cashiers and achieve highest possible customer satisfaction at Joe's Superstore. Place these phrases right under your name and contact information at the top of your resume. (While you may not label this as such, it is your objectives section.)
- Verify that your resume is coherent. Verify that each phrase in your objectives section is supported by documentation in your experience section.
- Remember, the objectives statement should be customized for each position you are applying for. You may want to update the experience section as well. It is not uncommon to spend a half day or an evening customizing a resume (along with your cover letter) so that it meets what your potential employer is looking for; it is time well spent when you land the job.
- Check your resume for formatting, spelling and similar errors.
- Have a friend, family member, mentor or colleague review your resume. It is highly likely that they will see errors or better ways of phrasing some of your statements that you have missed.
- Send the resume in. Look forward to receiving positive feedback from the potential employer if the resume truly ROARs (namely, is Results Oriented And Relevant).
- Ask mentors, teachers, colleagues, and friends to review your resume. This requires that you leave enough time for them to do so. Warn your checking buddy in advance and give a deadline by which time you will get the resume to this person.
- You really need to do the hard work of designing and developing your own resume to achieve the highest possible quality. It is possible to get professional help if you need a fresh, new look for the resume, but even then you will be asked to put the content back into your own words and you will need to keep reassembling the resume for every job you apply for.
- A quality resume is never complete. It can always be improved, so keep on iterating.
- Keep in mind what shouldn't be in your resume. Achievements of 20 years ago bear little relevance to your current self as far as a busy employer is concerned.
- When emailing resumes, always turn them into PDFs to avoid any mistranslation of fonts and styles at the receiving end; any such errors can spoil an otherwise incredible resume.
- Most resumes are not really results oriented and relevant, even though the authors may think that they are. Keep on reviewing the resume and improving it to ROAR even more.
Things You'll Need
- Word processing facilities
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