Over the past three years I have written resumes twenty times. Once for myself, when I got a job as the head of the copywriting department at an advertising agency, and the rest were for friends and acquaintances. Sometimes the goals were really challenging and interesting: getting a friend with no experience, but with great potential in a large firm (from which he left after 2 years and opened his own successful business), or winning the “resume contest”, where about 30 applicants applied for one place.
Do you know why 95% of the time the challenge was successful? Because a resume is the same sales text that sells a person to an employer. With all that ensues. And, as practice shows, 99% of people don’t know how to write a resume. I saw this when I worked as a head of department and recruited employees. Every day HR-managers used to drop dozens of resumes of applicants and most of them I never even finished reading: they were either written as boring as in carbon copy, or plainly creative, but not interesting for me as an employer.
Why do people write unnecessary things on their resumes?
Most people make several gross mistakes when writing a resume. First, they completely fail to understand the mission of their target audience (HR manager, department head, or business owner). Secondly, they all rewrite resumes 1 in 1 according to a template, which is a lot on the Internet, “safely” merging with the gray mass of other job seekers like them.
Finally, thirdly, the vast majority of people make one resume for a wide range of jobs: from HR manager to CNC machine operator, they think they can get it somewhere. As a result such a resume contains a bunch of unnecessary information and in the best case is sent to the folder “To consider if we do not find anyone in six months of searching.
What the employer needs
When it comes to selling goods and services, you can go two ways: from the product (describe how cool and unique the product is) and from the client (find the client’s problem, his pain and present the product as a solution to this problem). The second approach works much better in practice.
The human resource is a product, and the employer is the customer. And this is where all the basic principles of sales are fulfilled. If you look at everything systematically, not just from the position of an employee, you will see clear patterns.
You will also notice that the employer has a very specific task: to get m
Maximum result for the money invested. I.e. to close the vacancy with a suitable person with the minimum (if possible) costs. The higher the result and the less money you have to spend, the better. This is called a bargain.
The opposite is also true: the more value a person brings to the position, the more money that person is worth. As cynical as it sounds, when we talk about resumes, a person is a commodity in the job market window. No more, no less.
Gross Résumé Mistakes
When I was head of copywriting at a major ad agency, I had about 40 people on my staff. At that time we were actively filling vacancies for web writers and copywriters, and HR-managers sent me dozens of resumes of applicants.
I threw 9 out of 10 of those resumes away with just a quick glance, because they were boring and written with no clue why the person was the right fit for the job. In other words, I was offered a product that I didn’t need at all, and even if I did, no one explained to me why.
Another trouble with about half of all resumes sent in is the wrong structure. I have a lot of people I know who are great at what they do. But the problem is that you can’t tell that by looking at their resumes. It is important to understand that the potential employer has no other information besides the resume, and if the resume does not make the right impression, there is a good chance that no one will call.
The basics of writing a winning resume
Rule #1: A good resume is always tailored to a specific job. There must be certainty. The option: go as a programmer or tester, or maybe a sales manager, usually works very poorly.
Want to know why? I’ll explain. Different jobs vary in salary, sometimes even several times over. Hiring managers know the salary line very well.
Now put yourself in their shoes. You see a resume of a person who is willing to work as a programmer (whose salary can reach 150 thousand rubles ($5000) in Moscow, and as a sales manager, whose average salary is 60-80 thousand rubles ($2-2.5 thousand). I.e. the same person is willing to get 2 times less money in another job, and he does not care. This raises serious doubts about his account.
It is a sign of good tone in the resume – to specify the purpose. For example: “Obtaining a position as a commercial director.” Clear, concise and specific.
To tailor your resume to the job as closely as possible, look at the requirements of existing jobs and tailor your resume to match them as closely as possible (be as relevant as possible). Then the likelihood of a response is greatly increased.
Structure of the resume
When talking about resume structure, it’s important to remember and understand one thing. In most cases your resume competes with a dozen others, so you need to focus the employer’s attention on key points from the get-go.
Another very common mistake is to use a straight chronology, where a person describes their professional experience sequentially almost from school to their last job (from top to bottom).
The employer is not interested in your studies. Not in the first place anyway. He wants to fill the vacancy with the most suitable candidate, so focus your attention on the key points. And then, as additional information, you can specify the training, certificates, etc.
Important: Structure your resume from priority information for the employer to secondary information, not the other way around. At the end of this article I will provide a sample.
Now, for the sake of an experiment, I pulled up my archive and pulled out a sampling of ten resumes. In none of them I found any key information. But each one contained the same error. Look.
The vast majority of people describing their professional experience, uses a bunch: “place of work duties. But employers have little interest in duties. Let me explain why.
Imagine that you come into a grocery store. You take a cake from the shelf and pay attention to the label. But instead of the usual “ingredients” you see another inscription on it: “This product should normally contain…”. You round your eyes and put the cake down with an unpleasant residue. After all, you are not interested in what the product should have. You’re interested in what it actually has.
That’s why a bundle works much better on a resume: “Place of Work, Responsibilities, Achievements”. It is much more informative and sells you times more expensive in the labor market.
Skills and Technology
Be sure to specify the skills and technology that the employer needs and that you possess.
For example, when I got a job as head of copywriting at an advertising agency, public speaking, teaching, and a large base of web writers were a big plus.
Note: when you specify a particular technology, you don’t have to specify how well you know it. You can, of course, write, experienced user of MS Office, if that is indeed the case. But otherwise, it is better to list the packages you have worked with or know about. For human resources (HR) managers, who tend not to be narrow-minded, it’s the specific technologies that are the key anchors they look for in a resume.
For example, you might write: I know PHP programming language, and HR will look for Zend Framework (which is, in fact, written in PHP). Moral: pay attention to the job requirements.
Many, to my great disappointment, use hackneyed clichés to describe secondary benefits: “communicative, stress-resistant, responsible, etc.” The problem is that these clichés are present in almost every resume.
But in the meantime, the patterns can be broken very easily: include your beliefs, principles, or objects of pride in your resume. Include your favorite books or blogs, your interests. At first glance, this may seem unimportant, but it is this information that characterizes you as a person, not as a robot who made a resume according to given parameters. Moreover, if your hobbies and employers match, you will have an emotional connection, which greatly increases your chances of success. Even if your competitors are stronger in some areas you will be chosen, because of a strong psychological trigger, which is a disposition.
Finally, if you’re going to use general phrases, expand on them and explain exactly how you display a certain quality.