Great site for resume tips

I’ve been doing some searches for interesting resume material and came across an interesting site with some great information. If you haven’t been there before take a look at Resume Bear. There is an interesting article on creating a knockout resume summary that you should read.

I think you can take it a little further by putting in PAR (Problem you identified – Action you took – Result you achieved) statements for greater emphasis, but Resume Bear has some great advice.

Make sure your resume has IMPACT!

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Do you know the difference between there, their, and they’re?

Do you really care about how you present yourself? There are many job seekers that obviously don’t because they make stupid, careless mistakes.

With the advent of technology and spell check we have overcome many of the problems associated with misspelled words on our resumes and cover letters. Of course there are still those that insist that they have the correct spelling and choose to stick with the word they typed. I don’t know what we do with them, but that’s a topic for a later time.

What we haven’t overcome is incorrect word choice. Some of the more common problems are the misuse of there, their, and they’re; another is your and you’re. I know there are many others and you are welcome to add your pet peeves to the list.

There relates to a place: i.e. over there or we are going there.

Their is possesive and relates to ownership: i.e. it is their house or their car.

They’re (they are) relates to more than one person doing something: i.e. they’re going to the movie.

Your is again possessive: i.e. it’s your turn or your house.

You’re (you are) relates to you doing something: i.e. you’re going to work.

What I’m getting at in this article is that you must care about what you are putting in front of reruiters and other resume readers. I’m going to get on my soapbox here and I apologize for that, but you have to care. Your resume isn’t just something to do, it’s something you must do and if you are serious about your job search you must do it well.

Don’t be haphazard and lackadaisical about this process, especially in this economy. The jobs are out there, but there is a tremendous amount of competition and the reality is that recruiters are looking for reasons to eliminate resumes. It’s not because they are jerks, but that they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of resumes received. They need a quick process and if you don’t care; WHY SHOULD THEY?

Make sure your resume has IMPACT.

Facts tell, stories sell

As we all know our resume is a chronology of facts regarding our experience, but to be effective it must also tell a story – our story.

Our resume should start out with a title that reflects the position we are seeking. If we are responding to a job posting, the title should be the same as the heading for the posting. This should get the initial attention of the recruiter or reader.

Next our resume should have a summary that tells two to four key PAR statements – Problem identified, Action taken, and Result achieved. The PAR statements must be from at least two job experiences and preferably three or four. Each statement must tie directly to an experience with an employer in the body of our resume. The verbiage should be a little different but there should be no question as to the experiences being related.

Why would we do this? When we can highlight two to four relevant accomplishments and show how they relate to our career progression we are demonstrating to the recruiter/reader what they can anticipate when we are hired. Part of this process can also include any awards or recognition that we have received.

Basically we are telling our story in resume form and leading the reader through our highlights and accomplishments.

Now the last part is that whether we think of ourselves being in sales or not: WE ARE! And we are engaged in one of the most important sales processes we will ever encounter.

Keeping your resume current

Are you keeping your resume current?

Resumes with impact follow a key rule; they are filled with PAR (Problem you identified, Action you took, and the Results from your actions). Some people call these SAR for Situation, but it’s all the same concept. These statements help the recruiter or hiring manager see what the applicatant has accomplished and what they can expect.

Too often resume bullets simply say “Responsible for X, Managed Y, or Performed Z”. That doesn’t tell the reader anything because you’re not showing what you did or accomplished. Your bullets need to tell a story that the reader can apply to their needs.

Keeping all of that information at hand and being prepared to use it in your resume or even your interviews is important. One of the ways that I have found to be useful for keeping the information is to have a notebook or computer file of experiences.

Some examples:

Improved quality performance from 3 Sigma to 5 Sigma. Improved manufacturing quality, reducing customer returns 66% by incidences and 95% by cost.

Review billing and collection procedures identifying over $85,000 in unbilled charges. Collected evidence and rebilled customers recovering over 75%.

Identified errors in vendor charges and negotiated changes resulting in a 38% reduction in monthly charges.

Accomplishments that can be measured are easily understood and applied by recruiters. This information helps recruiters wade through their stack of applicants.

Don’t let these valuable experiences be forgotten or go to waste. Write them down and keep the information readily available. It’s important to remember that different opportunities may require using different experiences to explain your qualifications.

Make sure your resume has IMPACT.