Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Job Seeker's Handbook: Don't Advertise What You're Not Selling

Education, family, the workplace, the Internet - there's a lot of information out there about how to be a good employee, but did anyone ever teach you how to be unemployed? This is another installment of an ongoing series of advice from people who have been there.

A resume when done properly is a marketing document, a story written to show a potential employer the triumphs and outstanding career feats that have brought you to the logical conclusion that the job you're applying for is the obvious next step for you and the solution to that company's problems.

Employers don't like to sift through the entirety of a person's years of experience trying to figure out how they might be a fit for their company. If you don't spell out clearly what you can - and want to! - do for them, they will pass you by.

Tip #2

Don't advertise what you're not selling.

Just because you do something well, and have been successful with it in the past, doesn't mean that you should highlight it in your resume. For example, if you worked in a call center but disliked the one-on-one customer service aspect, don't play up the customer compliment awards you received but do highlight how you streamlined a computer process or were lauded for the accuracy of your documentation. If you want to be seen for your managerial skills, don't talk about how the office counted on you to make coffee and fill the copier with paper, detail how you took on a project or organized a meeting. If your background is in show biz, but you want to make a change to a more office-oriented environment, think about how you can highlight the skills you gained in the context of the business world, and leave out the industry jargon.

If you're not sure whether your resume aligns with the types of jobs you aspire to, have someone who doesn't know you look at the resume and tell you what type of job they think you'd be applying for. You might be surprised to learn what pitch your marketing document is making.

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