Resumes & Cover Letters

Why Your Resume Isn’t Working and How You Can Fix It

Written by Peter Jones

Your resume can lose you the job in a matter of seconds. All it takes is one glance at an outdated resume for a hiring manager to know you’re not right for the gig. To stay on top of resume trends, check out this article on resume tips 2016.

Does your resume begin with an Objective paragraph? You know the usual: “Highly qualified and resourceful candidate seeking full-time job with excellent benefits?” That bland description of both you and the position you’re applying for would fit pretty much everyone on the market. Ditch it.

If you’re applying for the job, the recruiter already knows that getting that job is your objective. Maybe it’s not your only objective, but for their purposes, they already know you’re interested. Why not use the space instead to brand yourself.

How to create your brand

It’s as easy as changing “This is what I want” to “This is what I have to offer you.” It’s a simple, but effective tactic at wowing them before you even make it to the interview stage.

Take your elevator pitch and condense it further into 2-3 kick-ass sentences. Think of how you’d answer the “Tell us a little bit about yourself” question if you had time to sculpt that answer into the most dazzling and succinct nugget of description you possibly could.

Things to focus on

  • Your value—the ways in which you’ve succeeded and grown so far in your career.
  • Your uniqueness—how you’re different from every other candidate in your field because of certain experiences and skills, and what makes you such a special snowflake. What drives you? What are you passionate about? Why are you likeable? The trick is to brand yourself as a hot commodity they’d be crazy not to fight to hire.

You’ll have plenty of time in the body of your resume to deal with the nitty-gritty laundry list of your experiences and accomplishments. That will be the gravy. Focus on the idea of you as their employee. Don Draper yourself!

Remember: if you can sell them at the very top of your resume, the rest of the process of landing the job will be a cinch.

About the author

Peter Jones