Certainly the job market is tight. If you own a business or are a professional with your own practice, you might be feeling the pinch as well. In any case, it’s always a good idea to have a resume available. After all, we do business with the people we come to know, like, and trust, and the best, most unique brand we have is ourselves. Many times, our potential clients or potential employers want to know about our background as professionals. A resume, if nothing else, is a great snapshot of your experience, accomplishments, transferable skills, and yourself.
About nine years ago or so, I contracted a company to help me find “the perfect job.” With a resume writing service, letter-writing protocols, research tactics, and interviewing coaching, I learned a thing or two about how to go about marketing ones self–and how NOT to do the same. I spent about $5500 to learn this stuff, and, from a recent interview with another similar firm, I’ve come to realize that, with only minor changes, the same strategies still remain with slightly more high-tech tactics.
Here are a few tips on how to write an effective resume that is scannable and searchable by employers:
1. Use the job title you seek as your heading–be specific. i.e. Mine says Art Director / Marketing Manager
2. Give a short “elevator speech” type synopsis at the begining introducing yourself
3. List your transferrable skills as a summary separated by <space>/<space>–these are the keywords that employers search filtered by their scanning and IT software systems.
4. List 3 or 4 of your major accomplishments and / or duties–giving what you did, how you did it, and what was the end result. Start with an action verb and try to refrain from passive verbs like:
is, be, am, are, was, were, being, been
5. List your education next–school, degree, and concentration
6. Chronologically list your last 2-3 positions including where you worked, your title, duration in years. For gaps, minimize your liability as much as possible. If you did freelance work for a while, state that you were self-employed as a freelancer.
Use a standard, regular font style that can be used in a paragraph easily read: Arial, Times, Garamond, Caslon, and Helvetica are good choices–I prefer to use serif fonts because of their easy read. Embolden your name, your heading, your skills, the first line of your achievements, your degree, and the name of the companies for which you worked.
Another great tip is to develop your Facebook, especially, your LinkedIn profile. Finally, if you can, set up your own personal website with a blog.
I will be posting very soon some information on how to set up your very own custom blog or website that will drive traffic to you and make your clients or employers really take notice!
It’s all about branding, people! Feel free to Contact Us to discuss some personal branding strategies and tactics.