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Does your resume sell you?

Nearly everybody hates talking about and selling themselves. But unfortunately you need to 'sell' yourself to get a job!

Most people have a resume that lists their contact details then has a big long list of job responsibilities. It does absolutely NOTHING to sell them to the employer.

Now, I'm yet to work with a client who hasn't told me they dislike talking about themselves.

They find talking about their achievements painful (and usually start the consult by saying that they have none!) and are not good at articulating their strengths or skills.

But your resume is essentially a sales document, selling you to the prospective employer.

So it's really important to get right.

Your resume or CV needs to be punchy, easy to read, and it needs to highlight your unique selling points, key skills/strengths, and key achievements.

And once you have this on paper, you'll be able to articulate it better. Your confidence will soar and you will be much more likely to nail the job interview.

So, how do you do this?

Your resume needs a 'summary' front page - it's essentially your sales page.

Your resume's front page should include:

  • Your name and contact details (mobile, email, LinkedIn URL - put this in the header)

  • A professional profile

  • A skills/strengths summary

  • A few key achievements from across your career

  • A career summary or snapshot (list of jobs and years)

This helps the recruiter or prospective employer to quickly understand your experience and see that you have the skills to do the job.

Your professional profile should clearly explain who you are (in terms of job titles and your experience) then weave together your top 3-4 unique selling points. You might want to brainstorm these with a friend or colleague. Also make sure you use lots of key words from the job ad or position description.

Your key skills or strengths section should outline your top skills - and these should be aligned with the job key selection criteria. For example, leadership, stakeholder engagement, communication. You should list the skills, then add some detail about your experience in each area. For example you might want to talk about your leadership style and what size teams you have managed.

Your key achievements on the front page of the resume should be the biggest 2-3 from across your career, and they should highlight different skills. For example, one might showcase your administration and organisational skills, and the other your stakeholder engagement or customer service skills.

Your career summary does what it says. It's just a list of job titles, the organisation and the years that you worked there. Put it in a nice, clear table.

The rest of your resume (don't go past four pages unless you are a published academic or researcher) will cover your career history, education etc.

Under each role, it's important to list achievements as well as job responsibilities. People are much more likely to read and be impressed by achievements than a boring list of responsibilities (hint: keep your responsibilities brief and high level; don't copy your position description!).

So, go and have a look at your existing resume.

Does it articulate your unique selling points, skills and achievements?

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