Because of the rapid downshift in the economy, a lot of people are feeling pressured to get their resumé in order. For many, complicating the challenge of creating or updating their resumé is the additional pressure to translate their experience for a different industry.
Whether you are fortunate enough to be looking in the same industry or venturing into something new, communicating your value in language your audience understands is essential. This means re-interpreting the alphabet soup of acronyms your organization uses into language your target company can appreciate. Before you send out your revised resumé, ask someone outside of your industry to read it. If they can explain what you are talking about, great! But, if they are scratching their heads and wondering what the heck you do, it is time to go back to the edit table.
A successful CV or resumé turns your organization’s dry, canned description of your job into a meaty account of what YOU did to contribute to the company’s success.
By nature, company job descriptions are designed to make everyone with a given job title look the same. In fact, everyone performs a job a little differently, may have more or fewer responsibilities, and may be more or less likely to go the extra mile. Your resumé needs to communicate these subtleties and draw attention to your unique qualifications. It is not a complete description of what you did every day; you choose what to emphasize and what to leave out.
Perhaps the biggest resumé challenge you face involves bringing your accomplishments to life in a way that demonstrates the future potential you represent to your target company. The best approach is to write short vignettes better known as accomplishment or achievement statements. These communicate your value in one- or two-sentence stories. The beauty of writing and highlighting these on your resumé is that doing so prepares you to successfully anticipate and respond to interview questions a little further down the line.
In addition, include your key areas of expertise/most highly prized skills placing these front and center on your resumé. Job seekers sometimes make the mistake of adding a “Skills” section at the bottom, almost like an afterthought. Instead, make it easy for the hiring manager to immediately identify your strong suits. Use powerful, persuasive language from start to finish. Are you a good communicator or an excellent public speaker? Do you stay current with industry trends or do you identify and proactively respond to market trends? These nuances can influence your job title, level of responsibility and compensation.
Finally, a quick perusal of your branding statement must communicate to the hiring manager why your resumé is worth 30 seconds of their time. Your success rides on your ability to succinctly translate past experience into current value.
In today’s uncertain economy, your résumé (and LinkedIn profile) must reflect who you are and what employers can expect from you. It needs to be easy on the eyes and packed with value. Regardless of whether you are in the job market now, creating an up-to-date record of your career safeguards your future.