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Our Thoughts on Improving the Resume (part one)

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The resume was designed to let an employer know your qualifications so they can make a decision about whether to hire you or not. It lists your objective, your education, your work experience and your skills. You attach a cover letter to let the employer know you have writing skills and the dance begins. If the interview process is a dance, then the resume is the first step. But you know this, so we aren’t here to tell you how to write a better objective. We’re here to suggest some ideas on how you can improve the resume itself.

What does this have to do with advertising? Getting a job is all about advertising yourself, and you can use creative tactics to let people know you will be an asset to their company. We also want to throw up the disclaimer that we are a creative agency, and if you take our suggestions we can’t guarantee it will help you get a job. It might even hurt your chances. The goal of any resume should be to stand out from the crowd and let the user know that you are worth talking to. With that in mind, it’s up to you to take our suggestions and make it work.

We look at the resumes that come into our office and sometimes get quite frustrated. It’s hard to tell if the person is a good fit from a piece of paper or PDF that has a list of things someone may or may not have done. Luckily, we can look at a person’s portfolio and see if they have the drive and skill to fit here. This may not be the case for the job you are trying to get, so we are going to suggest a general content improvement that you can use to land a job. But first, we have to say a few things about strategy. For the general formatting of the resume, you can read about resume design on the fontografist blog. We suggest three strategies:

Strategy One: Research the company you are submitting to.

The person reading your resume will know if you have submitted to 50 companies in rapid fire fashion, or if you spent the time to request a position as a specific company. We realize if you need a job really bad you may see yourself having the time to research, but if you submit to 50 companies that you researched and followed strategy two then you will be out of work for much less time.

Strategy Two: Customize your message for the company you are submitting to.

Your resume is about you and you don’t change right? Your resume is about how your skills would be a good fit for the company you are submitting to. From your research you can develop the message of your resume, so there is no doubt in the person who is reading your resumes mind that your are worth calling for an interview.

Strategy Three: Deliver on the content of your resume.

The first place you are going to have to deliver on the content of your resume is the interview, and if you get the job you will have to continue to deliver. We shouldn’t have to say this, but too many times people beef up their resumes to get an interview and either waste the interviewers time or worse get past the interview and miss on the job. Don’t be this person. If you only have a few skills, make them sound really awesome. If your only skill is learning new skills quickly then make sure that your resume says that and that only.

In short, know your prospect. Research them and then make sure when they read your resume they get an accurate picture of who you are. In our next blog post we will talk about the content of the actual resume and how you can customize it for the job you are trying to get.

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