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Executive Resumes – The New Resume

by Kim on February 14, 2012

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, if you want to believe that math, with private sector job growth and major employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing. This is good news, but we still have a long way to go.

If you’ve been unemployed for several months or even years without any prospects on the horizon, now is the perfect time to transform  your resume into a powerful career marketing document vs. a one-page list of duties. As I stated in an earlier blog, if your resume hasn’t been working for you in terms of generating interviews, then it’s time to take a good look at what your resume says about you and be OPEN to change.

I review several resumes each day, provide commentary on what the resume needs to succeed in today’s market and it’s still a little astounding to me when someone will respond with, “Thank you, but I think my resume is just fine.” How can that be if one has gone months without one interview despite a great past track record?

It’s not enough to merely update your resume, particularly if it wasn’t strong to begin with. Years ago, your resume may have gotten you in the door, but that was before you were competing with hundreds of candidates for the same open position. Clearly, over the past few years, the job market has changed…if you haven’t changed with it, you risk being left behind despite your experience and qualifications.

Today’s resumes (no matter what your level) are much more informative, focusing on achievements vs. responsibilities. Anyone can say that they are “responsible for such and such,” but really, what does that tell the reader? Nothing.  This “strategy” doesn’t help the reader other than to understand only what you did,  not how WELL you did it.

You need to think of your resume as a marketing piece that clearly and impressively positions you ahead of your competition. You need to consider a professional, yet striking format without being too over-the-top creatively. You should open with a very persuasive value statement to let the reader immediately see what value you will bring to their organization and you need to have a core competency section outlining your primary skills (aka “key words”).  Your experience section should provide a brief overview of your daily functions and what you were charged with doing followed by a very proactive and well-written list of achievement bullets.

This has been key to helping my clients re-energize their job search, especially those who had a lot to offer but didn’t quite know how to present it. Face it, most of us were taught to write resumes way back in college and for many of us, that was a long time ago!

So change your resume, transform it and  embrace what it can do for you when it finally demonstrates all you have to offer, not just what you were responsible for. The job market is changing so your resume needs to change with it. I’d love to hear from you and I always provide free, confidential resume reviews.



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