Get In the Game With a Stellar Resume
by Linda Matias
During the job hunterís market of the 1990ís, employers were settling for
less than qualified candidates because the candidate pool was so small. Job
hunters were able to name their price and employers were meeting their demands.
The job climate is much different today than it was a few years ago. Job
hunters have forgotten how to present themselves to a prospective employer.
Their job search skills are poor and they are struggling to find employment.
In todayís job market, a resume which highlights accomplishments and skills
is essential for career success. It is time to get back to the basics. Employers
are no longer settling for the average job candidate. The ball is in their court
now and they have the upper hand.
Your resume is your calling card. Therefore, it should stand out from the
rest and go the extra mile in presenting you as the most qualified candidate.
An effective resume isÖ
- Your ticket to an interview
The resume serves as an introduction of your qualifications. Its sole
purpose is to win an interview.
- The agenda setter for the interview
Interviewers will use your resume as a gauge for interview questions.
- A reminder
Once the interview is over, the hiring manager has their notes and your
resume as a reminder of your qualifications. While you donít have control over
what the interviewer decides to write in their notes, you do have control over
what is written in your resume. For the most part, the resume may be your last
- A solid first impression
In most cases, the employer will only have your resume to evaluate your
job performance. Your resume should position you as the best candidate for the
An ineffective resume isÖ
- A Personal Document
Your resume should stress what kind of work you are seeking, what you
know, what you have demonstrated, and what immediate contribution you can
contribute to the hiring organization. Your resume should not include your
personal stats, such as height, weight, hair/eye color, etc. It should also
not list your birth date, marital status or social security number.
- Easy to write
If you have written your own resume or are attempting to write your own
resume, you can attest to the fact that resumes are difficult to write.
Recalling past achievements and presenting them in a compelling way can be
tough. Also, if you arenít objective about your own achievements, this can
skew how your career information is presented.
- A one-size fits all marketing tool
In resume writing, there arenít any rules. I am sure you have read
articles that your resume should only be one page, or that your resume should
be in chronological format or it wonít be read. The truth is that each job
seeker has a different set of circumstances and ironclad rules do not exist in
resume writing. It is important that you evaluate your situation and come to a
conclusion that fits into your reality.
- A magic pill
In order for your resume to be effective, you must know how to use it.
Answering want ads or posting your resume on the Internet is not going to get
you the results you desire. You have to be an active job searcher and use the
resume as a catalyst for your job search Ė not as your only tool. Your resume
must include the type of job you want, what you know, what you have done, and
what you offer an employer.
Linda Matias is President of CareerStrides and The
National Resume Writers' Association. She has been quoted in The Wall Street
Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. Visit her website
or email her at email@example.com.