MERCHANDISE YOUR RESUME TO SELL YOURSELF
By Ann Baehr, Best Resumes of New
Are your best skills, experience and
accomplishments showcased effectively enough on your
resume to get 'buyers' interested in you?
walk past the store window and see the season's newest
fashions. The manikins are wearing very attractive
outfits, but after a few seconds glancing at the
display, you lose your interest and keep walking.
A few stores down, you see a similar display. This one
is much more exciting. It has a theme. In addition to
the manikins wearing ensembles, there seems to be a full
line of coordinating accessories. You get the sense that
this designer's collection offers many options for you
to expand your wardrobe on a budget.
Guess what? Both collections are from the same designer!
The first store simply showed a few items on the
manikins; the second store took the collection to the
next level by including exciting merchandise such as
jewelry, handbags, belts and shoes to go with each
A resume should be merchandised the same way.
For every job title, there are thousands of candidates
with similar work histories. What sets them apart? A
hiring company certainly knows what each candidate's
background on the resume should cover. In fact, they
have outlined those requirements in their job ad.
Differentiating factors range from leadership of special
projects, implementation of programs and improving
processes to identifying new business opportunities and
increasing revenue growth. Beyond these include required
credentials and length of experience.
It is not enough to plainly state these 'accessories' on
a resume. A strong resume details what each initiative
is about and shows a candidate's involvement and results
using percentages, dollar signs and explanatory
statements to get the message across.
Now picture the manikins in the first store window. If
you list your responsibilities the way a hiring company
lists their requirements in the vacancy announcement,
the reader will certainly move on to the next display
window. In this case, the next display is your
To prevent that from happening, be sure to merchandises
your skills and achievements effectively on your resume.
Think of your keywords as earnings, a testimonial from a
client or former supervisor as shoes, and your special
projects as a handbag.
Make sure you accessorize your experience and
accomplishments in a way that gives the read the sense
that you are interesting and practical, and that they
will get a good value for their budget. As a new outfit
is a good addition to an existing wardrobe, a qualified
candidate is a good addition to an existing workforce.
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