What’s the ultimate goal of a resume? Is it to document all of your achievements on a few pages for a hiring manager to review? Not really. The ultimate goal of your resume is: To create an action!! So what action do you want to create? In the real world there are basically two:
- To have your resume so compelling that the hiring manager reaches for the telephone to contact you immediately, or
- The hiring manager writes a note that says, “I definitely want to talk with this applicant!!
Then you’ll get an interview as a result, which is the action you want from a resume.
How does that happen?? Through the power of your written words.
Assuming you meet the criteria for the job opening in the first place, your point of differentiation is how you project yourself to the hiring manager from your resume. The mental picture you present through your written word is the only image the manager has of you.
You need to draw the hiring manager’s eye to:
- The critical words that put you above the crowd
- The metrics or performance results that “jump off” the page
- The experiences that fit the criteria
- The actions you took that will gain attention immediately
You should never hide your results within a barrage of narrative words that overwhelm the reader.
Define your target!!
There’s great confusion as to whether to have an objective or not. Without an objective the hiring manager is looking at a generic resume. A clear, general objective and supplementary information on a resume creates an image of someone who knows what they want and understands how to get results. It’s what makes you unique. How do you carry out the goal of a resume to create action?
In a succinct one-paragraph statement, define who and what you are. What are your differentiators? What can you do that most people in your profession cannot do, or you can do better? These are the fundamental elements of a resume that drive results toward your goal to get an interview. When a hiring manager sees the traits, activities and results they’re looking for, an interview is imminent. Then it’s a question of presenting yourself in a very positive light in a face-to-face meeting.
Here is an example of an initial statement by someone who focuses on non-profit organizations. This professional has an excellent target definition that can be converted to a resume: “What I’m good at is reorganizing and rebuilding a program, putting the infrastructure in place, … getting the funding set up and then usually turning it over to somebody else to run for the rest of the time. I’ve been in non-profit management for 20 years. I enjoy the hard stuff – getting it all set up and letting somebody else run it”. This statement is the core to create a compelling resume.
Now look at your resume. Create a powerful description of what hiring manager’s want in a candidate. Convert that description into a strong objective and resume to create action and get an interview.
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