I have often mentioned that resumes are not life stories but marketing documents, intended to “sell” you to a company who will then invite you in to an interview. This is exactly the way marketing brochures, websites, and other collateral are intended to work: a customer becomes interested and contacts the company for more information on the product or service.
So I thought it might help to have a marketing writer’s perspective on what a marketing document—in this case the resume that markets you—should and should not do.
Marketing documents should always address a specific customer—not the world at large. In resume terms, this means that you should focus your resume on meeting the specific requirements of the job and position you are interested in. You cannot possibly be all candidates to all industries. Even shoe stores are sectioned off in athletic, dressy, comfort, men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes.
Marketing documents should offer a solution to the customer’s problem. In resume terms, that means your resume should let the company know what value you will bring to the position. A dozen people might have your background without ever accomplishing what you accomplish. Only you can offer your special combination of skills, insights, and achievements to solve the company’s problem.
Marketing documents should be clear and concise. In resume terms, this goal holds up exactly as stated with short, punchy bullet points outlining your career.
Marketing documents should be interesting. “Interesting” in resumes means, in part, that you vary your verbs. “Responsible for” is one of the most boring constructions; try “leads” or “improves” or “enhances” or “facilitates” or any number of other verbs.
Marketing documents should be specific. In resume terms, this means you should provide specifics about your achievements such as the number of people affected, the revenue produced, or the improvement generated. You should also be specific about the size, location, and primary business of the companies you worked for in the past, especially for little known companies.
Marketing documents should sound and look professional. A professional resume writer not only helps create a professional look and content for your resume, but keeps up on the latest expectations of hiring managers, recruiters, and electronic applicant tracking systems.
Marketing documents start working when they are sent out. The longer you struggle with your resume and fail to send it out, the longer you will wait for invitations to interview. As a professional electronic career coach and job career transition coach (JCTC), as well as a professional resume writer, I can give you the advice and support you may need to send your resume out into the world.
Please contact Robin’s Resumes® today for resumes that are strong marketing documents and personal statements.