Things tend to slow down a bit in the summer. This is a good time to catch up on those administrative tasks that have been left undone during the busy season.
As a marketing communications writer, you want to be sure that your team’s resumes are impressive enough to win over the most difficult prospect. The important thing to remember, is that a resume must be highly ‘client-centric’. The prospect should be able to see right away, ‘What’s-in-it-for-me.’
Here are 10 quick ‘n easy steps to polish your team’s resumes:
While stating your objective is optional, a lot of clients will be pleased to see the focus and clarity demonstrated in a short, succinct objective. Be sure to address the potential client’s needs. Example: “To perform a thorough due diligence audit for the purpose of minimizing investors risk in the acquisition of XYZ Company”
#2. Showcase two or three career achievements
You want to highlight your competence by showing that your skills have resulted in real, positive, and measurable business benefits for a past client/employer. For example you want to show how your skills have resulted in higher sales, increased productivity, higher retention of skilled personnel, etc. When your resume demonstrates ROI (Return on investment), a prospect can clearly see the value of your skills.
#3. Eliminate jargon
LAN connectivity, Ethernet cards, Cisco 2500 Routers and Red Hat Linux are all fine and dandy if the decision maker understands what you’re saying. But if he doesn’t, it might be a good idea to explain some of these terms and assure him that your team has competently handled his type of environment in the past. Don’t assume that the hiring decision-maker is a ‘techy’.
#4. Text enhancements
Your resume is more readable and visually appealing when you use bullet points, bold subtitles and adequate spacing between paragraphs. This makes it easy for the reader to skim over quickly and find the important information that he is looking for.
#5. Keep it short
Two pages are more than enough to showcase the important information that a client is looking for. Some ways to keep your resume short are to reduce your margins to .75″ all around and to reduce your font size to 11-point. Be sure to number your pages 1 of 2 and 2 of 2.
#6. Eliminate clutter
Clutter includes activities that have nothing to do with your career; saying “References available upon request” (if you’re trying to save space leave this line out). It goes without saying that you will provide references and mentioning it is not a ‘news-item’; using articles like “a”, “an”, and “the” – a resume is not written in sentence form and thus there is no need to use articles of speech.
#7. Proper display of past experience
The way to do this is to start with the information that is most important to the client, and then work your way to the lesser details. The proper display is: position, name of employer, city, state and dates of employment.
#8. Avoid too much information
You might think that the more experience you show on your resume, the more likely that a client will be impressed. The fact is that not all past experience is relevant to the particular prospect that you’re pitching to. However if you determine that your past experience is entirely relevant, then it is wise to display only 15 years worth of job experience. The client might wrongly assume that you’re too expensive based on your vast past experience.
#9. Graduation dates – don’t!
Here’s the thing with graduation dates – they date you! If you graduated from college in 1970, then you’re simply telling the reader that you’re about 65 years old! The fact is that age-discrimination happens. You don’t want to volunteer information that could potentially disqualify you or a team member from a lucrative assignment. If you graduated more than 12 years ago, you might want to skip the date altogether!
#10. Check the small stuff
Finally, watch for the small stuff that is easily overlooked but could make or break an opportunity of a lifetime! Be sure to have your resume(s) reviewed and edited for typos, spelling mistakes, and overall clarity and flow. Use good strong verbs that express competence and leadership. Be sure to use acceptable, professional fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial. Also be sure to use high quality resume paper in traditional white, off-white or ivory color.
If you’re looking to polish your resume(s) this summer, be sure to use these easy tips, or call WordView Editing for a free consultation on your complete resume make-over!