Your resume is not just a list of your experiences; it is a document advertising you and your accomplishments. Companies spend thousands of dollars on advertising campaigns. They do market research, conduct focus groups, and pitch several different ideas - all to get your attention. Your resume is your only way to get the attention of a hiring manager. There are the obvious changes that can be made to your resume. If you have a simple typo or grammatical error, your resume could be tossed aside no matter how relevant your experience. But, this is something you can edit on your own. A good resume writing service offers more than just proofreading.
Resumes are the most significant asset or the biggest liability for a candidate. Being the most important document ever written about a candidate, it is surprising how little time and thought is used in creating resumes. A number of candidates have told me that they have picked up a template from somewhere and started to write their resume using this format. Candidates also tell me that their friends have written resumes for them. The candidates then continue to use their resumes for months in the market and often get frustrated at the lack of response.
To make it clear: the purpose of your cover letter and resume is to get an interview call and not a job. So, consider your cover letter as a type of sales letter for your resume that needs to be clear and precise. It needs to highlight the most important points of your career and life, capable of attract the attention of the potential employer motivating him to give you a call and invite you for an interview.
Wow, that is just depressing! How many, many resumes must a person send out before realizing that this is a broken path for many of us. For every successful job seeker, I am guessing there are probably many, many more that did not succeed. Although I have mixed feelings about the value or viability of sending out resumes to openings, I would not dispute the importance of a well-constructed resume. My only concern is how it is used. I am a big believer in Richard Bolles' statement that resumes are something you leave behind versus something you send ahead.
If you are a recent college graduate or have less than five years of experience, you are advised to stick to the one page rule. If you're twenty-three years old and have a multi-page resume, there had better be some very compelling material in order to justify the length. The bottom line is this: the content of your resume is by far the most important thing. Powerful content means a powerful resume. Make that your goal-not a specific number of pages.
This almost precludes sending out mass resumes or dropping off 50 resumes at a job fair. Having multiple or adaptable resumes mean researching and targeting. In essence you should have two core resumes. The first resume is the one that you would send ahead. The second resume would be the one you leave behind after the interview. Because while I do think that Richard Bolles is dead on, sometimes you have to send a resume ahead of you.
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