Making Your Resume Sell

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,057
    Certified Expert Resume Writer Laura DeCarlo teaches you how to make your resume sell.

    Laura Decarlo: Hi! I am Laura Decarlo, certified expert resume writer and President of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International. I am sharing strategies for creating your dynamic and compelling resume. Right now, I am going to talk about the importance of creating a resume that sells you. There are two components to creating a resume that sells. The first is developing a resume that is easy to read, and can be scanned for key information in under 30 seconds. The seconds is that the content you write in your resume sells you. You want to avoid sounding like a generic description of what you and all your competition can do. Let's start with making a resume quick and easy to read. This is critical to your resume success, because most reviewers have more resumes than they will ever have time to review. So they end up spending as little as ten seconds looking for something in your resume to grab their attention and pointing to a job match. Writing a resume that is quick and easy to read does not mean it is weak on content. It is more an issue of content layout and segmentation. You will make your resume easy for an employer to review if you consider the top third of your first page to be critical real estate for selling yourself to the employer. Use a font size of no less than Arial 10, or Times 11 both commonly used resume fonts. Provide a clear job target or objective header at the top to guide the reviewer. Create a brief yet powerful summary section that sums up the unique value you can offer an employer. Include a concrete list of key qualifications you hold for the position, in a two to three column list style, focus on using concise statements and visual section headers and avoid heavy paragraphs or long list of bullets. Now that you have gained an understanding of the key components to making a resume quickly scannable, let me explain how content or what you say plays a part in making your resume stand out. When you write your resume, it is always easy to fall into the trap of thinking it is enough to simply tell the employer what you know and what you have done. This too common resume reads like a list of typical company job descriptions and generic soft skills that all your qualified competitors will also have. When written this way your resume does not give the employer a compelling reason to interview you. Instead you want to move your resume from this passive telling to more dynamic selling. Once you have a list of your responsibilities for each of your jobs, you'll be ready to move to the next step and create powerful CAR stories for each one. CAR stories are simply statements that emphasize challenges, actions and results. To determine the CAR story for each of your responsibilities, you will want to go through and brainstorm questions such as, where there areas for improvement with this responsibility that I held? What did I do? How did I do it? What results did I attain? What if any recognition did I receive from my efforts? That data will translate into a powerful final resume bullet. For example, the CAR strategy might turn the generic bullet statement, held responsibility for customer service management into the more powerful, introduced structured customer service training to staff which increased company customer satisfaction scores from 72-95% plus in just six months. What a difference a little digging can to your rsum's impact? Once you have translated your responsibilities into these rich CAR stories, you are ready to start creating content for your resume that let's you answer to the question why should we hire you. What bottom line value will you bring to our company? Now, that you understand how to make your resume stand out, I will next share with you the resume sections that are most critical, yet often neglected or misused.