I’m no resume expert, but I do know a thing or two about marketing a small business and the products and services that go with it. When I speak to audiences about small business marketing, inevitably we come to the topic of human resources. A company’s employees are its bread and butter. The people who work for an organization are as much a part of the marketing plan as the brochures, websites, and point-of-sale pieces are. We know it’s time to go beyond just features of products and services. Instead we must focus on benefits, and, if we want to drive the point home, consumer values.
Yet when we put together our own resumes, we fail to market ourselves with the same gusto. We put blasé “feature” comments such as, “Processed 50,000 applications last year” on our resume. So what? What was the benefit of processing those 50,000 applications? You work fast? You’re accurate under deadline? What is an employer supposed to do with that information? How does that tap into an employer’s values system? Remember, organizations have cultures and values just like individual customers do.
If you want the job, much like you want to sell the product, it’s time to dig deeper in the psyche of your audience.
Instead of describing your workday, show how you impacted the bottom line. Did you bring in new business, retain a client who was about to walk, or reposition a stagnant product? If you’re not sure how you did/do that, it’s time to do a little homework on the value you provide.
Illustrate highlights from previous reviews. You don’t need to regurgitate what your boss told you during your review, but you could pick out a few highlights that don’t include “attention to detail” and “perfectionist.” Those are overdone. You’re different. Show how.
Use a combination resume. If you can’t decide between a functional resume and a chronological resume, do both. Use the top portion of your resume to pinpoint special skills and abilities you have. Towards the bottom list your chronological work history. This allows you to emphasize your talents instead of just previous employers.
Bottom line? It’s time to think of yourself as a benefit to an organization. The aforementioned tips allow you to delicately balance bragging rights with a well-rounded outlook to doing business.