The Burning Question: What Your Resume Must Answer

April 2nd, 2013

Your resume represents the first impression you’ll make on a prospective employer. This piece of paper, or more commonly an electronic file, will singlehandedly determine whether you’ll move on to the next round—the all-important 148132650interview—or get voted off the candidate stack. And the key to grabbing an employer’s or recruiter’s attention is making sure your torch burns brighter than all the other “sell sheets” in the pile.

So how do you do that? Make sure your resume is crafted to answer the single most important question employers ask themselves about every job application that crosses their desks.

What’s the question?

Of course, recruiters and employers want to know whether you have the necessary education and skills for the position. The problem is, a majority of the resumes they review will meet those basic qualifications. The more important question—and the one your resume must answer—is this:

What makes you better than every other candidate applying for this particular job?

It’s not about simply making yourself employable. That term fits just about every job seeker on the market. You need to look like the logical choice, the perfect fit, for this position at this company—with every resume you send out.

What’s the answer?

The best strategy is to take a completely different view of resumes. Rather than simply creating a list of your experiences and accomplishments, you need to view your resume as a marketing tool.

When applying for a job, you are selling yourself to employers and recruiters—or rather, the idea of yourself as a standout employee that they simply must have on their team. This means leaving out the jargon and the vague descriptions with ten-dollar words. Keep it straightforward and get right to the point. Remember there’s a good chance you’ll be sourced online, so your resume should use direct, compelling language.

Make sure that your actual work experience, strengths, expertise, and work-related skills are clearly articulated. Highlight your accomplishments, achievements, and awards, and don’t forget to emphasize your soft skills—an area that’s becoming increasingly important in today’s business world.

Finally, reach out to an executive recruiter for help highlighting your attributes and polishing your words. Having an extra set of professional eyes lets you bring out positive aspects you may not have otherwise noticed—after all, we’re often the worst judges of our own strengths.

Helpmates: We’re here for you

Helpmates Staffing can help you craft the solid resume you need to impress employers and land your dream position.  After spending more than 40 years partnering with top employers throughout southern California, we offer insider access to unique opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere. Contact us to find out how we can turn your resume into a compelling marketing tool.

 

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