How to Write a Resume
There are lots of sites and articles telling you how to do this: how to lay out your resume, general topics to include, and so on. Well and good.
Here's a somewhat different take: sales. A successful resume is all about sales.
You are selling yourself, so write a sales tool.
The Foundation of all Sales
Buyers buy to bring themselves pleasure or avoid pain.
Buyers are attracted to what the product (you!) will do for them. They want a problem solved or they want to receive something they value, even if it's an intangible.
When you're selling something, you want to emphasize how what you're selling is going to do something potential buyers want.
The Technical Foundation of Sales
Your first step is to list the features of what you have to offer. For example:
Now convert those features into benefits for the prospective company - state how hiring you will help the company bring itself pleasure by solving problems or by avoiding pain. For example:
- depth and breadth of experience (how long in this field? how long in a related field? how long in any other field?)
- specific skills in this professional area (also, professional skills in other areas)
- willingness to train or cross-train
- willingness to relocate
- on-going education in this field
- any publications in the field (give magazine/whatever titles) or in another field (name field unless the magazine title/whatever is well-known)
- and so on
After you've identified the features of your experience and personality, rewrite them as benefits to the specific company. A boilerplate resume is not as effective as one the goes directly to your target market. Then, rewrite your resume.
- keeping abreast of new technologies
- implementing new technologies
- reaching customers more efficiently
- training sales staff more effectively
- analyzing current needs and suggesting solutions
- writing clear reports
- using your contacts in the field to broker mutually-beneficial arrangements with other companies
- and so on
Don't forget to write a letter - not zap an e-mail - to thank the person for an interview, even if you think it went poorly. No matter what other sites might tell you, Mom knows that holding something in the hand has much more impact than a fleeting electronic occurrence.
Good luck! You're terrific! Mom already knows this. You tell your prospective employer! And then come home for milk and cookies. Mom will have your favorite kind. (Do you want them warm?)
Last updated October 20, 2009.