Does Your Resume Speak For You?

When it comes to resumes many job seekers put together a list of previous employers, working dates, and a description of their skills. That’s it! Some consider this the ‘short and sweet’ method. But it might also be classified as ‘cut and dried.’ In other words, it has the basics but is lacking in personality and character. Such a resume does not speak for you. It simply lays out the facts about you. But that’s not enough in today’s tough job market and fragile economy.

How you present the material, the words you choose, and the style you use to convey your experience and skills can make all the difference between landing the job and landing a rejection.

Which details in your resume will give the hiring manager a glimpse of who you are as a person?

Call to Action!

Action words (verbs such as convinced, handled, managed) tell your employment story in a way that creates a picture in the mind of the reader. So make them the centerpiece of your resume. Focus on what they can do to help convey your talent and skills and also your style and personality. Consider the two following examples. Which one would you pick if you were a hiring manager?

Example #1:

Sales Trainer:

For a number of years now I’ve been employed by a sales company to train some of the new people who come onboard, showing them how to communicate more effectively with clients and fellow workers and I’ve also been able to help employees work out their differences with one another so more of them stay with the company rather than leaving for another job, and of course this increases the bottom line too.

Whew! This paragraph contains a single sentence of seventy-three words. That’s a lot to sort out and digest for someone who has to read hundreds of resume a week.

Example #2:

Sales Trainer:

Conducted effective sales trainings with new employees

Reduced staff attrition by such and such percent

Increased company revenue by x number of dollars

Resolved conflicts between managers and subordinates

Notice the verbs. They communicate actions taken and results produced.

Such writing also provides clues to the job seeker’s personality. Here is someone who is detailed, thorough, clear-minded, and precise. Clearly the man or woman behind this paragraph would be one worth calling for an interview.