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Friday, April 14, 2006
Seeing the Trees
I have a client who is a sales and marketing professional plus a graphic artist. Her job has consisted of developing marketing campaigns for various companies and non-profits. These campaigns include everything from strategy to creating billboards. I found it interesting when she said that she had never considered having a marketing strategy behind the content of her resume.

Without strategy, the content of a resume is just a work history. Picking and choosing what information to include, what to exclude, and how to word it all is strategy. Thinking about what the reader is seeking before starting to get words down is very important. Writing the resume to give the reader the information he/she needs should be the number one purpose in choosing content. If the reader sees what he’s looking for in the resume, he will call the candidate for an interview.

Have you ever seen a resume that was four, five or even six pages long? Maybe yours is that long. Such long resumes are prime examples of someone sitting down and just dumping the information in the resume without forethought to strategy or audience. The extremely long resume is just a biography or long job description. Often, repetitive information appears throughout the resume or low-level information such as “conducted meetings” or “entered data” or “wrote reports”.

In the well-thought-out resume, there is no repetitive information and each position builds on the strengths of the previous position. The job descriptions are vivid and interesting, showing the reader unique assets of the candidate. Achievements are chosen and worded for impact on winning the interview. So often, a client will consider something an achievement but it’s really just a complex task. Achievements have a result that comes from a task. Getting the result in the document shows the reader the performance level of the task.

The sales/marketing client asked me why it was so hard for her to see her own career history when she could easily identify marketing points for companies or organizations. I told her it was because she has her nose on the mirror – she is so close to the information that she cannot see it. One of the true benefits of having a resume professionally prepared is the objectivity the resume writer brings to the process. While winning the Chili Cook-Off three years in a row at the company picnic might seem a big accomplishment to someone, the resume writer can see it has no value in landing an interview. We can see the forest in the trees.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 /


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