Your frustration is mounting as you dig through files of antiquated documents, having given up on finding an electronic version of what you’re looking for. Sputtering aloud, your patience is as pinched as your little finger in that blasted file drawer!
Finally your efforts yield the discovery of a 2004 hard copy of your Resumé. Uncrinkling it, you set about the work of updating and typing it into your computer.
You thought about hiring one of those resumé writers, but who has money for that? Highway robbery, indeed. This resumé got you into the company 14 years ago, after all. How difficult can it be to update it and get it out there to new companies? This isn’t rocket science, you sniff.
It wasn’t a total surprise being called into your manager’s office and informed that the day had arrived for your department to be eliminated, including your Project Manager position, with the acquisition by a larger competitor. I’m sure you’ll land on your feet, Craig, the manager had said as you left his office.
Four months later you’ve heard nothing from any of those companies at which you submitted your “updated” resumé – several of which you even had friends hand-carry to hiring managers. That’s supposed to work, isn’t it?
So let’s say a decision-maker (we’ll call him Bill) is looking to hire a new Project Manager. Before long Bill starts to receive resumés culled from the company website by HR. He’s decided that this afternoon, despite his labored schedule, he’s going to review the growing stack of resumés teetering precariously on the corner of his desk.
Several minutes later Bill has worked his way though a good chunk of the pile. Picking up the next resumé, he skims deftly across these bullet-pointed “gems”:
- Managed projects from initiation to closure.
- Completed workdown structure to estimate effort required for task.
- Communicated goals to project team members.
This resumé is, like most of the others, tossed into a growing heap in Bill’s trash can. While Craig is at home hopefully anticipating a phone call, Bill has absently thrown his empty yogurt container into the trash on top of Craig’s resumé.
JOB DESCRIPTION vs. SALES BROCHURE
Think about it. Decision-maker Bill – who supervises a horde of project analysts – knows what a Project Manager is supposed to do. His impression is that Craig is submitting a job description under the guise of a resumé. Craig’s resumé screams THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!
There are two things a resumé needs in order to drive it into the psyche of the Hiring Manager:
1) Compelling Summary/Profile. Like an exotic appetizer at an elite restaurant, the 3-to-5 sentence narrative at the top of the resumé (under the heading) needs to advertise what the product – You! – bring to the table. This is what will entice the Employer to read further! The Summary/Profile statement is your:
- Brand message
- Sales Pitch
- Features & Benefits promise
2) Memorable Accomplishments. Notable accounts of Action/Results validate the impact you made within each position you’ve held. To that end, the implicit message to the Employer that results-focused bullets deliver is: Look at how I’ve impacted companies throughout my career… I can do that for YOU!
Other Considerations That Trigger A Catnap:
- Too much information/Too many pages
- Having an Objective statement.
- Poor formatting/Font size too small.
- Irrelevant Personal information.
Knowledge Nugget: The must-read resumé is a sales brochure – a Marketing Tool – that tells the story of a compelling Product, and gets your foot in the door!