First thing first, according to the top career management associations, “the resume is dead” rumor is significantly overstated as the resume continues to serve as an essential job-search tool and is expected to remain the foundation for additional career marketing communications.
Last session we reviewed five essential resume strategies designed to place you, your staff, and/or your students in the advantage. For those who misplaced last session, you are welcome to refer to the original post at https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/resume-essentials-part-one.
To gain your career advantage, let’s get right into business:
- Resume trends. Over the past decade, resume length has been shrinking at an alarming rate. Rarely should a graduating student warrant more than one page while senior executives remain the exception. The key remains in placement; keep the most impactful (and relevant) information within the top third of the document as reader attention span is also shrinking.
- Email host. Keeping up with the times includes keeping up with social perceptions. Oddly enough, your choice of email hosts may be sending a message. For example, using an AOL account is currently being perceived as an antiquated vehicle. The most popular email host at the current time happens to be “Gmail.”
- Focus, focus, and focus. Gaining the advantage requires an active role. Sitting back and sending hundreds of cover letter/resumes instantly at the punch of a button is NOT putting the applicant on top of the heap. To enhance positive responses, tailor the cover letter and resume to the specific job opening. In other words, for each submission, make sure keywords and text placement reflects the job posting, company mission, and your contributions. With the increase use of ATS platforms, matching keywords has never been more important.
- Proof in the pudding. Nothing shows the reader that you are the right candidate for the job like actually proving it. Simply stating overused terms did not work in the past and will not work in the future. Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) stories tailored to your accomplishments can be a powerful took within your career documents as well as during interviews. In other words, show how you led a group project, a team, or an office by giving actual numbers, what your action was, and then what happened. Is the process still in place? Did your recommendation increase revenue or decrease labor expense?
- Keep it consistent. Ensure that all documents as well as online profiles and website information highlight the same message. Your LinkedIn profile must match your document branding statements (though not word for word—be creative and consistent).
No doubt the resume remains the career wheel hub with other career collateral serving as spokes around it. By recognizing and applying best-practice approaches, the advantage will go to you as well as your students.
We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.
For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org to see how I can help you.
Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com