The Resume Trap
After reading over 65,000 resumes since 1985, I’ve reached this conclusion — about 98% of them are doomed to produce only a fraction of the results they could.
Because they fall into what I call the “Resume Trap”. It’s an insidious mindset that afflicts most resume writers, from professionals to ordinary job seekers.
How does the Resume Trap hurt you? By leading you to write resumes that make two critical mistakes:
* focusing on duties and responsibilities (instead of results) and
* focusing on your career goals (instead of an employer’s problems).
You can stand out from 90% of other job seekers if you avoid the Resume Trap.
1) Focus on results in your resume
BEFORE (all duties, no results):
“Performed research and cost effective purchasing of office equipment.”
AFTER (with specific results):
“Researched 13 vendors, negotiated pricing and purchased digital copying equipment. As a result, saved $24,000 versus 2000 costs.”
See the difference?
Don’t make employers work to figure out your value. Tell them — specifically — by emphasizing the results you’ve produced.
2) Focus on the employer’s needs
Employers hate hiring. They only hire when they have problems to solve.
Now, along comes your resume and it starts like this:
Seeking a challenging position in a forward-thinking company where my skills will be utilized to the fullest extent and recognized with potential for rapid advancement.
What kind of reception do you think you’re going to get by focusing on you and your needs?
Turn this objective — and every other part of your resume — around, so that it focuses on the employer and his/her needs.
Position where six years of networking and technical support experience will add value.
Finding a job is like finding a mate. It’s a courtship. So don’t spend an employer’s valuable time talking about you and your needs. Instead, turn the tables and say: “Here’s how I can help you.”
Because everything you say in every resume you send out should prove that you can produce results and serve the needs of employers.
Doing this will keep you out of the Resume Trap and help you find the right job fast.
Best of luck to you!