Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Winning Resume

A colleague and friend, Dean Tracy, recently wrote an incredible article on writing a winning resume and I thought I should share this with all of you. Both Dean and I would enjoy hearing your feedback, so please let us know your thoughts on this insightful and targeted article.

As always, make it a great day!

Roadmap to a Winning Resume
By Dean Tracy

As a recruiter, I have seen thousands of resumes from very qualified and capable candidates across the globe. They have come from nearly every industry and market segment and have represented administrative professionals as well as corporate executives.

While I review each resume, my role is to carefully read between the lines and try to get a sense of who the candidate is and how they are wired. In doing this, I’m associating their skills against my client’s needs. My intent is to determine if the candidate capabilities will drive a degree of success in a particular capacity.

On the other hand, it’s been stated that a typical hiring manager or recruiter will only look at your resume for approximately 10 to 15 seconds! In this brief period of time, that hiring manager or recruiter will decide on how to proceed with your resume. Their decision to file your resume or push it forward in the process will hinge on three attributes – identity, uniqueness and value to the company. These three elements are essential to developing and delivering a winning resume.

Identity – Build Your Brand

This is the only opportunity that you have to make a first impression. The top–third portion of your resume must clearly represent you and your professional identity. The next hiring manager to read your resume must be able to immediately tie you to a department or open position within their company.

The format, conciseness, and clarity of your resume will also reflect many of your professional traits and will demonstrate how well you will fit into the company and its culture. Your resume must be easy to read, captivating, grammatically perfect, and free of spelling errors. It needs to have a sense of continuity, be detailed but not boring, be content rich but not busy, and most of all, it must be organized.

Your resume should not be overstuffed with keywords just for the sake of keywords. If you effectively manage your professional network, then your resume should never see scanning software on the first pass in penetrating your target company. Don’t worry about capitalizing on the hits when a company does a system driven search. Instead, focus on developing your resume as a piece of marketing collateral with you as the product. Remember that everything you send out is a direct reflection of your professional traits.

Uniqueness – Differentiate Yourself

Write an effective yet brief profile of your background and experience, not an objective stating the obvious. For example, every candidate wants to “utilize their skills to engage with a winning company in driving revenue and increasing profits.” This is not unique and does not set you apart from anyone.

In writing a profile, you will briefly encapsulate your background while highlighting your capabilities and accomplishments. This is a great place to capture their attention while demonstrating your overall strengths and value to the company.

Value – Quantify Results

For every position in the workforce, there is always an impact on revenue, profits and productivity. You must author your resume to represent your accomplishments for every task. As you reflect on your roles and responsibilities, think in terms of numbers, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn! Your next employer is looking for people with confidence and leadership qualities that will drive their company to new heights. You can do it!

If you take the initiative to embrace these three simple elements in defining your background, you will recognize greater results in your search efforts and it will become easy for you to open new doors of opportunity towards landing the job of your dreams!

Dean Tracy is a Professional Recruiter, Public Speaker and Career Coach based in Northern California with an emphasis on Placing and Coaching IT Professionals at a National Level. He also serves on the Leadership Team for Job Connections, which is recognized as one of Northern California’s largest and most reputable Professional Networking Groups.

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