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Resume Success Factors--What Exactly is a Resume Anyway?

You know you're ... good. The problem, though, is that you are ... to ... just how good you are on ... resume. If you've ever written one you know what a ...

You know you're good...real good. The problem, though, is
that you are struggling to demonstrate just how good you
are on paper.

Ah...the resume. If you've ever written one you know what a
challenging task it can be.

The Gregg Reference Manual tells us some fundamental facts
about resumes:

* The purpose of your resume is to get you an employment
meeting. An interview. Your resume will not get you a job.

* Your resume is not a medium for telling prospective
employers about your long-term goals and aspirations. It is
where you appeal to their hiring motivations by
demonstrating what you can do for them, communicating the
experience you have acquired and skills you have developed.

With these basic concepts in mind, let's summarize several
other elements that your contemporary resume must include:

R = Review of your qualifications
E = Essential information only
S = Showcase your value
U = You are Unique!
M = Market yourself
E = Effectively gets you noticed

R = Review of your qualifications
What skills, education, or experience (paid or unpaid) do
you have that make you the ideal candidate for the
opportunity, industry, or career you are pursuing? These
data bits are the building blocks of any resume. They are
absolute musts.

Most self-written resumes do a pretty decent job of listing
skills and education, but fail miserably in the Experience
section. More on how to address this challenge when we get
to the "S" below.

E = Essential information only
Your resume should not be a voluminous listing of
everything you have done, everywhere you have done it, and
every club or association you've ever been affiliated with.
Chisel your copy down to content that is relevant to your
target job/career path.

Suppose you are a marketing professional. Your memberships
in the American Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing
Association, and the Public Relations Society of America
belong on your resume.

Your memberships in the local dog trainers club and the
American Dog Owners Associaiton can clearly be left off
(unless you are applying for a marketing position with the
Humane Society).

S = Showcase your value
Value. Employers want to know specifically what value you
can bring to their organization. If you earn an hourly
wage, you are not paid by the hour -- you are paid by the
VALUE that you bring to that hour. If you are salaried, you
don't get paid by the month -- you are compensated for the
VALUE that you bring to that month.

One of the most effective ways to communicate value on your
resume is to address the burning question, "Why should we
hire you?" You must identify what specific contributions
(that is, verifiable accomplishments) you have made at
previous employers. This critical information is proof that
you can do the same at your next job.

Showcasing you unique accomplishments is simultaneously
simple and complex. It is simple because the best
contributions are somehow related to the bottom line
(money, profits). The challenge lies in how to reframe what
you've done relative to increased profits, reduced costs,
or productivity enhancements.

How can your resume show that you've helped previous
organizations solve a specific problem, be more
competitive, expand business, attract new customers, or
retain existing ones?

U = You are Unique!
Your resume must be unique in content and in format. The
information will be unique because, as mentioned above, you
will have pinpointed those accomplishments that will set
you apart from other applicants.

Unique formatting means not using those templates that came
packaged with your word-processing software! A cookie-
cutter resume will not do justice to you or your career.
Bookstores are full of excellent resources with samples of
compelling resumes to ignite your creativity.

M = Market yourself
A superior resume utilizes proven marketing concepts such
as headlines (rather than boring objective statements). It
stresses the benefits you have to offer (how you can
contribute), not just features (what you were responsible

Catch the attention of prospective employers on the first
page with a powerfully written Profile or Qualifications
Summary. Resumes are initially scanned for roughly 15 to 30
seconds. If you've lost the reader's interest at the top of
the first page, he/she will not read further. Your resume
will go in the "no" pile.

E = Effectively gets you noticed
There is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" resume. There
are only "effective" or "ineffective" ones. By weaving the
concepts above into your resume, you can increase your odds
of getting noticed by those with the authority to recommend
you for the next step in the hiring process -- a telephone,
teleconferenceArticle Search, or in-person interview.

You know you're good...real good. You are now challenged to
prove it on your resume.

Source: Free Articles from


Peter Hill is President of Distinctive Resumes in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and is nationally recognized as an expert resume strategist. Peter publishes "Career Brainfood," a monthly career-related e-mail newsletter. He can be contacted through his Web site,

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