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About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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11:36AM

Is your resume hard to read?

Are you extremely talented? Have you worked at start-ups or smaller firms where you have worn multiple hats? Do you have a diverse skills set?  Believe it or not, depending upon how you position yourself, these could be liabilities rather than assets when searching for a new career opportunity. Shocking, but true!
Sometimes, if you aren’t careful, having a broad range of skills highlighted on your résumé can actually confuse recruiters and hiring managers.  As they read through your résumé, they might not be able to accurately pinpoint or understand what you do or what your real strengths are.

This is why it’s so important to customize your résumé to the audience you’re targeting.

For example, if you have done sales management and are going for an individual contributor role, you will want to minimize the management aspects and highlight the sales you generated independently. You want to capitalize on the things that are relevant to the role.

Often times, people try to list every single thing they have ever done in their entire lifetime. Next thing you know, you have a bulleted list of skills that takes up half the page.  Keep your list of core competencies to no more than 10-12 items. The résumé should offer the reader a ‘taste, not the plate’. The idea is to engage your reader and provide the information in an easy to read fashion so you keep the person’s attention.

The other important thing you can do to define your experience is to use a title line at the top of the page that summarizes the role you are applying for. It will make it clear to the résumé reader what opportunity you are seeking and where your expertise lies. For added punch, you can use what is known as a branding statement.  A branding statement to provide the reader with a single line regarding your over arching strength. For example:

Sales Development & Client Relationship Management

Solutions focused sales professional offering a consultative approach to uncovering clients’ needs.

Regardless of the exact format you choose for your résumé, be sure your reader doesn’t end up scratching his head trying to figure out what it is you do. Be clear and concise right up front, particularly if you have worked in multiple fields or have held a variety of diverse roles. Use the SAR method to keep yourself on track and highlight what you bring:

S – Situation- What were you doing? Project related information. Situation of the role or program.

A – Action - What did you do? Action you took to achieve the R below.

R – Result - What was the outcome? Metrics will seal the deal here.

Using the SAR method, your résumé will deliver the appropriate information with a positive impact!

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