Resume Rescue: Building a resume that gets results

Your resume is your Number 1 marketing tool. (Actually this is an exaggeration – you are your Number 1 marketing tool!)
The sad fact is that if your resume is poor, you will rarely get to deploy your Number 1 tool.

After reading your resume I want to know:
• Who you are – who you really are
• What is special about you
• How your skills and experience relate to the need my organisation has
• How to get in touch with you

Most of the resumes I review miss the mark at least two of these. Here are the 9 key problems with resumes.

1. You don’t appear at all in your resume
There is no personality at all in your resume. It’s boring, and after reading it I still have no sense of the person you are.

2. The standard skills shopping list
You have included a list of skills or competencies that look like you copied it from a job-find website. I could easily swap my name for yours and no one will notice the difference!

3. What you are ‘selling’ is not apparent
You haven’t given me any indication of what I will get if I ‘buy’ you. What are your special skills or unusual combination of experience?

4. You only tell me how good you are
Telling me you are an ‘Excellent communicator who works well across all levels of the organisation’ doesn’t cut it. Anyone can say that. I want evidence of your communication skills.

5. Your ‘achievements’ are simply fulfilling your job role
Your ‘achievements’ are non-specific lists of what I would expect anyone to do in that role. There are no quantifiers and no indication of outcome.

6. Your career has done to you
You have used passive verb constructions and your resume lacks energy. You are telling me you are an innovative leader and yet it reads as if you are a passenger travelling along your career path.

7. It’s too long
You have included too much, especially in your early career roles. If you haven’t got the energy to edit it, I may not have the energy to read it.

8. Your layout is boring at best and confusing at worst
Your resume looks like everyone else’s – boring. The font is too dense with insufficient white space around the text. There are no page numbers.

9. Your contact details are hidden
Working out how to contact you (on the odd chance I might want to) is a challenge as your contact details are buried, and occasionally even forgotten.

How does your resume stack up? If you need help, check out the Extraordinary Future Resume Rescue on the tools page of our website. And feel free to share this tool with your colleagues. 

Have an Extraordinary day