How To Customize Your Primary Professional Branding Tool: Your Resume
Your resume is the primary branding tool to introduce and position yourself to the professional world. It is, quite simply, the most financially important document you will ever own: when your resume works you work, when it doesn't you don't. Properly executed, a carefully branded resume insures that prospective employers and colleagues see you, as you want to be seen. Short-change the effort you put into your resume and you cheat employment and future success.
No one likes writing a resume, but you'll find the process essential to defining a brand that your professional world is eager to embrace. This is critical because in today's harsh world, your resume all too often disappears into resume databases with millions of others, rarely to be pulled by a recruiter's search. When recruiters do find it, it will get a 5-45 second scan and if a clearly defined and relevant brand doesn't jump out, they'll move on to the next. You can control these issues.
Your Brand & Resume Needs Focus
80% of resumes lack a target job title at the top of the document, but when recruiters do resume database searches, they start with a job title and then add keywords, from the company Job Description. When you give your resume a target job title and focus on the skills you bring to that specific job you will get more interviews.
Talk Like Your Customer
It is common sense to find out what your customers are buying and sell to their expressed needs, rather than selling what you think they want. Understanding your customers' needs and then satisfying them first in your resume and then on the job is the foundation of professional success.
You research employer needs for your target job by collecting six job postings and deconstructing them into a single document that reflects:
- How employers prioritize their common needs; which ones are common to all, and which are common to some.
- The words they use to describe these requirements
These are the skills that recruiters will look for, and the words they will use to find your resume in database searches. These are also the skill priorities that recruiters use in resume evaluation and focused on in interviews throughout the hiring cycle.
How To Write A Killer Resume
When you understand how employers quantify your target job, you have a template for the story your resume must tell and the foundation for positioning a brand with solid employer appeal; you'll improve database performance and quickly tell any reader that you "get" what is truly important in this job.
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