Does your resume pass the “So What” test?

I am perplexed. I am confused. I am frustrated. This is really a bad situation for me. I was just listening to Jack Canfield, author of “The Success Principles” and he was talking about “I am” statements and how they impact your thinking. Your “I am” statements should be positive and uplifting, but right now – mine are not.

I have been reviewing some resumes and I do not know what people are thinking. The purpose of your resume is to sell yourself to the reader and it is amazing how many fail. This is your story and you must tell it in a way that catches the reader’s attention immediately! Starting out 20 years experience blah-blah-blah; doesn’t do it. It’s boring and you imeediately lose the reader’s interest.

Can you imagine a newspaper story starting out like that? It sure wouldn’t sell many papers and it wouldn’t last long in the market. As with a newspaper, you must make your copy interesting! You need a headline that is going to get the prospective reader’s attention and draw that person into your story.

With everything you put in your resume, you should ask the question SO WHAT? If you can’t think of a great response that will entice the reader then FIX IT or GET RID OF IT! Can I say it any more bluntly?

This is your story; make it interesting!

If finding a new opportunity is a serious quest for you, then get serious about your resume!

Make your story sell!


Up the Ante – Don’t Stop with Just a Resume or Application Submission

Submitting your resume or application is just the first step in applying for the job. There are tens, hundreds, or in some cases even thousands that have done the same.

You must submit your resume or application as instructed, because you need to follow the rules for any posted job. If you don’t; you have just given the recruiter or whomever all the reason they need to eliminate you. Remember because of Equal Employment Opportunity requirements they need to comply with their own rules; they have no choice but to eliminate you or else run the risk of a law suit. Don’t take chances; submit the required information in the manner specified. Even if you have inside help at the very top of the organization; you must still follow the rules.

Once you have submitted as instructed; it is time to break the rules and go for the job. When you have submitted the resume and/or application you can then go directly to the specific recruiter or even better the hiring manager. Pull out all the stops and use the resources at your disposal to promote yourself for the position.

If you have done your networking homework and the proper care and feeding of your network (see my blog article) it is time to put your network to work for you. If you don’t have contacts it’s time to make your own connections and learn the name of the hiring manager or others that might help by querying your strong contacts and through your strong contacts your weak connections.

Read my previous posting on finding your unique value proposition. You need to distance yourself from the other applicants by show casing the skills that make you the best candidate.

You can get more ideas on resumes and your overall job search at There’s a lot of free stuff available for you to download.

What is your unique value or selling proposition?

This is a THINKing exercise. In the past IBM gave out desk signs that had the work THINK on it. We are always thinking, but what is it that we are thinking.

Right now, during your job search, you need to be thinking about what makes you uniquely attractive to a prospective employer. Realize that there is probably nothing unique that would apply to all employers, but there may be something different that would make you uniquely attractive to a specific employer.

1. Maybe it’s a skill you possess or a previous employer where you worked.
2. Maybe it’s your knowledge of a process or procedure.
3. Maybe it’s the intimate knowledge you have of an industry.
4. Maybe it’s how a previous employer does business.
5. Maybe it’s the people or contacts that you have within your network.

There is something about you that can make you stand out; your job is to identify that characteristic.

If you look at any successful business person there was something uniquely special that brought them to their current position. What is your unique value or selling proposition? Package it properly and this is what will get you the opportunity that you desire!

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Your resume is not about you

A common mistake that I made for many years was thinking that my resume was about me. I had two page, three page, and even seven page resumes. I thought that every little nit picking detail was important and I wanted the world to know what I had accomplished. The fact is that most of it was irrelevant, the only person I impressed was me and I don’t know that I even did that sales job particularly well.

We need to stop all thought, that developing our resume and the other parts of our product brochure has anything to do with us. Your resume and your product brochure is about … your READER. Sure the chronological data covers your career but that’s what gives us the mistaken idea that it’s about us.

This is an excerpt from Tom’s book “Confessions of a Job Seeker”.