As I was doing some work-related reading this morning, I came across a few paragraphs that really hit home. The information was actually part of an article about launching a new web site, but it applies equally well to launching a job search--and resume writing in particular. To make my point, I've replaced the words and phrases that applied to web sites with alternatives that apply to resumes:
"This principle is the most basic, yet most difficult, to embrace. Even though it may be 'your'
site resume, the site resume isn't, or shouldn't be, about you. Yet most sites resume writers persist in narcissism: endless pages 'about us,' mission statements, methodologies, philosophies, visions objectives focused on what you want, laundry lists of old job duties, and details that are unrelated to the job at hand....
visitors employers care about? Themselves. Their interests and needs. And unless your site resume reflects your visitors' prospective employers' hopes, dreams, and desires—unless it speaks their language and on their terms—you're done for."
That's harsh but true, especially in today's marketplace. It may be easier to just present the facts about your past experience and hope your next employer will figure out how that aligns with his or her business needs. But it's so much more effective to write a resume that makes it easy for employers to see that you have the right skills, experience, and savvy to help their business succeed.
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