© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"
A resume is the single most important document that a job seeker has in his or her arsenal. It's the piece of paper that will go out into the job market for you, acting as your salesperson to the hiring managers who can give you your dream job. As such, it represents you and can either make or break your chances for your chosen employment. After all, it's the resume that the hiring manager looks at most closely to see if you are worth coming in and taking up his or her time in the interview.
What a Resume Tells the Company
Because it is so important, a lot of people put intense pressure on themselves to get their resumes just right, and many pay hundreds of dollars to so-called experts to help them perfect this document. Luckily, going to such extremes isn't necessary. Knockout resumes are easy to create, if you just keep a few basic principles in mind. The first one is simple: Hiring Managers don't really want to hire people, they want to solve problems. Whatever the field happens to be, whatever the industry, the company has a multitude of projects to keep moving forward and problems to fix. A well-written resume says, in effect "I can fix your problems and advance your project."
How a Resume Works Its Magic
Well-written resumes work their magic by convincing the reader of that resume that you, the applicant, have the experience, training, intelligence and passion to solve that problem. That is, in a nutshell, what every word on your resume needs to say. Of course, knowing that presupposes that you know what problems the company faces. That is where research comes in.
Researching for Resumes
If you're aiming for a higher position in your field or industry, then you probably have a good idea about what sorts of projects and problems you should tailor your resume to address. But if you are hoping to move into a different job, you might have to go on the Internet or make a few phone calls to find out. More to the point, you might have to do some thinking before you write the first word down on your resume.
Problems and Projects Thinking for your Resume
A lot of people think about what they do as just "doing their job" without taking it to the next level of "problems and projects" analysis. Are you looking for a sales position? Your problem is finding leads and converting them to sales. Are you hoping to be a project manager? Your problem is organizing people, ideas, and money to meet specific goals. Are you applying for an administrative role? Your problem is maximizing your executive's time and energy available to do his or her job. And so on and so on. Once you have gotten that concept down cold, you are ready to begin crafting the resume in those terms. A little bit of thinking in this area up front pays big dividends on the final resume project.
Next article: Sample resume
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