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Friday, September 01, 2006
Write with Purpose
There was a recent headline in the news that noted SAT scores were lower in 2005 than in the past several years. You can stand on all sides of the educational issue but one thing we all must admit is that something, somewhere is not working as well as it should. We can blame all sorts of factors on the decline in education of our children ranging from poor home lives, to lack of funding for classrooms, to the digital divide. Like most large disasters, the problem with education is probably not one single thing but a “series of unfortunate events” that culminate in declining performance.

What does this have to do with careers and resumes? The ability to write, of course. Most professionals today write the following types of documents on a daily basis – emails (by the score), memos, status reports, and agendas. What most professionals DON’T do is write persuasively and vividly. Basically, everyone is out of practice.

Do you remember senior English? You had to do a research paper with all those note cards and bibliography cards. You had to write essays. You had to write book reports. You had to write responses to reading. Most of us never had to write a persuasive paper or anything that had to sell something using words. Does that mean we can’t write? Not necessarily. It just means we don’t write the kind of copy that is required of a resume to win interviews.

Writing a resume is more than putting down job description and educational details. It’s choosing words that paint a brilliant picture in the mind of the reader. It’s selecting phrases that accurately portray competence, brilliance, value and ability without being overdone, underdone, or trite. It’s knowing what to include and what to leave out.

Can you manage all that without training? Do you want to trust your job search to the possibility that you can’t?

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