Because…not all resumes are made equal…

Just in case you ask…I have not joined a new age religion where I spend all day preying to the almighty resume as my mantra. There is meaning in the title, because not all resumes are made equal. Let me explain…

I have seen hundreds of resumes in my career and interviewed nearly as many people, and the biggest criticism I have of  resumes submitted by hopeful applicants is based on two significant points;

  1. The resume was not tailored to the individual or conventions of the industry/profession the candidate claimed to be an expert.
  2. It followed that the resume was not solutions orientated and did not project them as someone able to solve company problems.

So why is that so important you ask? I know how to do my job… isn’t that enough? You are providing a potential employer an introductory insight into you.  It’s your entry point and your resume should be viewed as a marketing tool rather than just a text description of your employment history, skills and qualifications.

As with any marketing tool it is about selling yourself (the product)in the most attractive way possible, and to do that, you need an understanding what drives employers today.

As with most goods and services, we are fighting for time and attention of the potential buyer. The buyer in this case is the employer and they do not have much time for you to impress them!

If your resume is sent unsolicited, it will only be read at a glance, 20-30 seconds maximum if you are lucky.  The key point is your resume has to grab the intention of the recruiter quickly and effectively.

Presentation and format can be important, however, language and words chosen can also have an influence psychologically on the reader. Employers want and need people who can solve key company problems and add value to the bottom line. Employers have an expectation that the person they hire can contribute more than their stated expert skills, maybe not at the beginning, but can be nurtured to do so in time.

So how do you project yourself on your resume? Here are some examples to consider;

Power Phrases to Apply to Your Resume

Below are some phrases I have used in my resume that can be applied to your own resume to reflect key achievements. Achievements are important because they reflect what you are capable of professionally and they also demonstrate your potential. Achievements need to be true and credible, so don’t just use everyday achievements. Focus on milestones, projects and your own key initiatives that have brought about a benefit or change to the company. Power phrases can be used to describe achievements where you have:

1. Reduced costs of a specific process
2. Completed a major project on time
3. Lead a team of others in achieving a major goal
4. Introduced a personal initiative or implemented an idea.

Below are some examples of power phrases I have used to demonstrate my achievements:

  • Achieved approximately $200,000 productivity savings by negotiating and implementing three key productivity items resulting from enterprise bargaining negotiations.
  • Managed a department of up to five diverse human resource professionals and several key contract and facilities providers.
  • Contributed to financial year budget cost-down process by reducing the HR budget by 10%.
  • Managed business downsizing and redundancy program eventually leading to business closure for a large automotive components manufacturer and successfully negotiated redundancy conditions with the union.

  • Formulated and implemented comprehensive strategic competency based training model for a division of a large blue chip Australian company.
  • Lodged successful tenders for $50,000 in training funding to deliver a broad range of industry specific competency based programs at the workplace.

As you can see in each example, there is a solution to a company problem that has been stated, and how the outcome achieved provided real benefit to the business.


25 thoughts on “Because…not all resumes are made equal…

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