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What is Resume Strategy Planning?

What is resume strategy planning and is it really necessary? I mean, it’s easy enough to find free resume templates on the internet, and it’s easy to fill them in with your work history and educational background. So, that’s it, right? Your resume is done. You’ve written it yourself, there’s no need to consult a professional resume writer when doing it yourself is this simple. At first glance, it looks professional enough. Now it’s time to start sending it out.

Days pass. Weeks pass. Months pass. You’ve sent out that resume to 100s of employers, applying to every job you are even remotely qualified for. Still nothing. No interviews. No job offers. Nothing.

So, what went wrong? Your resume strategy was lacking. Your only plan was to fill out a basic template you found for free online. This is the same strategy that thousands of other applicants also used. the end result is that you don’t stand out to a hiring manager. At all.

What is Resume Strategy Planning?Resume Strategy Planning

Resume strategy planning is the process of finding job postings you are interested in, determining whether or not you are qualified for those jobs, and then, if you’re highly qualified, tailoring your resume to set you apart as an ideal candidate. This involves much more than using a free resume template and filling it in. Like any piece of writing, your resume needs a strategy. Remember in elementary school when you were first learning how to write? Your teacher probably told you that your writing always needs to be focused. Sentences need to be complete thoughts, paragraphs need to focus on a main idea, essays need to have a consistent theme throughout, etc. Resume writing is no different.

When we work on writing resumes for our clients, we use a unique resume strategy planning process that ensures your resume sets you apart from other job candidates. A resume strategy helps us focus your resume on the specific job you are most interested in and best qualified for. How do we do this? Before we begin writing, we ask questions about your work history. Not basic questions, but questions that will help us understand in-depth details about what you have done and how your past experience relates to the job you are currently seeking. The questions we ask help us quantify what you have done so that it makes a strong impression on hiring managers. We ask questions about things you might not have even realized are relevant to your current job search.

Why is Resume Strategy Planning Important?

When you skip the strategy planning process, you end up with a generic, often boring and unimpressive resume. Hiring managers only interview the candidates that most closely fit the requirements they are looking for. Going through the planning process before writing your resume helps identify all of your experience and accomplishments that are going to stand out the most to the person hiring for the job that you want.

Do All Professional Resume Writing Companies Do This?

No. Unfortunately, many don’t. Often, even professional resume companies don’t want to take the time to complete the resume strategy planning process before writing your resume. Spending more time working with the client means they ultimately make less money. It can be tempting to skip it, but when it is done properly, it can significantly reduce the time you spend searching for a new job and applying to jobs that aren’t even interested in calling you in for an interview.

If you’re ready for a resume that sets you apart from the competition, let us know, we’re ready to help!

Why is it So Hard to Write a Resume?

Writing a resume doesn’t sound that hard. After all, you know your job better than anyone. You know how valuable you have been as an employee. You are confident in your skills and abilities. So, why is it so hard to write a resume?writing a resume

Bragging Doesn’t Always Come Naturally.

Even though you know you have always done a good job and been a valuable employee, it can be hard to convey that in your resume. Bragging has a negative connotation, so many people are reluctant to “brag” about themselves. It can help to not think of it as bragging. You aren’t trying to show how great you are while making other people feel bad about themselves. That attitude is generally at the heart of bragging, which is why the negative connotation exists. But, when describing your positive qualities on your resume, your goal isn’t to put others down. So, in this case, this type of “bragging” isn’t a bad thing. You are simply trying to show a hiring manager the value that you have brought to previous employers to demonstrate the value you can bring to a new company or organization. Don’t be afraid to clearly show your value.

Describing Work Experience Seems Boring.

You might feel like your job was not very exciting. It might seem hard to describe it in a way that anyone else would care about. Keep in mind that whatever your job duties were, someone was paying you to do them. This means that what you were doing was valuable to them. Describe your job duties in terms of the value it brought to the company. Did you work as a cashier? In doing so, you were building valuable customer relationships. Did you work in the IT department? Your job helped keep critical systems up and running so that the business could keep functioning. Were you a nurse? You provided quality patient care. Think about your job in terms of the value you brought and describe it in those terms. When you do this, your job (whatever it may have been) is no longer boring, but important.

When thinking about the value you brought, also think about the details of what you did. Adding details that help you show what you did in concrete terms makes your experience more interesting and more impressive. Don’t be vague. Ask yourself, “How much?” “How many?” “How often?” and write about your experience in those terms.

Writing Isn’t Easy.

Writing doesn’t come easy for everyone. Grammar rules are confusing. Spelling is hard (even with spellcheck!) and you feel like everything you write sounds terrible. If the only thing keeping you from being confident in writing a resume is your lack of writing abilities, ask for help. Have a friend or family member proofread your resume for you. This can help minimize the problems with the mechanics of your writing.

Does writing your own resume still sound like a difficult and daunting task? Let us help. Our professional resume writers know how to highlight your value as an employee and we have the writing prowess to make you sound like the perfect candidate. We have a resume package that is perfect for your needs.

What Went Wrong on Dazzlecloud’s Resume?

Colorful is not the way to go…

Dazzlecloud’s resume told the hiring manager that she was conceited, wasteful, and cared only about her wants rather than the company’s needs. How could this have been avoided? The first mistake that Dazzlecloud made was using a colorful resume template. While a little color can sometimes be a good thing, large, colorful headers aren’t the way to go, especially if the hiring manager is going to be the one who prints it off. Choose a template that is professional and easy to read, rather than one that looks like it is trying too hard to draw attention. (Dazzlecloud also chose to center everything on her resume, which meant that she had bullet points all over the place, leaving her resume looking unprofessional and hard to read.)

Objective statements are a thing of the past…

The next major problem with Dazzlecloud’s resume was the use of an objective statement. Objective statements are a thing of the past because they focus solely on what the job candidate wants rather than showing what the job candidate has to offer the company. Use a summary statement instead. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself while highlighting the value you can bring to the position and to the company.

Longer isn’t better…

Finally, make sure that your resume is an appropriate length. Generally speaking, longer isn’t better. For a student or recent graduate with only a couple of years of work experience, keep it to a single page. If you have been working for more than five years AND have enough relevant experience to justify using two pages, then use two pages. Don’t feel the need to include every detail of every job you’ve ever held–focus on only including the experience that shows how you can be a valuable employee to this company in this role (this means tailoring your resume to each position you apply for).

Want to know what your resume is saying about you? Send it over and we’ll review it for free.

What Went Wrong on Katerina’s Resume?

Writing a resume can be tricky business. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to include and what to leave out. In Katerina’s case, she didn’t know what to leave out and how damaging some things could be. She was under the impression that you should always include your full job history on your resume, but there are times when leaving information off from your resume is far more helpful than including it. In her case, she needed to omit the job that she had back in the 1980’s for several reasons. First, it is ideal to limit your job history to the most recent 10 years. Most of the time, this is going to be the most relevant experience that you have, so you want to keep the focus on it, rather than less relevant experience from your past. If you have significant gaps in your job history, as Katerina does, this isn’t something that you want to brag about to a hiring manager, so leaving off prior jobs is prudent (or, if you feel they need to be listed, list them at the end of the employment history without dates attached to them).

Katerina also listed her college experience, which is generally a good idea, but how she approached it was problematic. Including the dates when she attended college gave the hiring manager a reference point to determine her age, and listing college experience that did not result in a degree, when combined with the gaps in her job history, made it appear as though she has a habit of not following through with things, which is often sends up red flags for hiring managers. She would have been better off omitting the dates she attended college.

Our resume experts know how to recognize problems on your resume and can create a resume for you that helps you show your true value. Let us help you get more interviews, order your new resume today!

What Went Wrong on Astroth Varnham’s Resume?

Poor Astroth! His resume is saying all kinds of awful things about him and it lands his resume in the trash without a chance for an interview. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to fix the problems with Astroth’s resume. First of all, his job hopping makes him look like a poor job candidate, and while there’s nothing we can do to change his job history, we can minimize how noticeable it is by removing the months from the dates listed. By listing only the years, it is no longer obvious that he went sat unemployed for months at a time, or that he only stayed with some of those jobs for a few months. By making this small change, his resume no longer screams, “I’m not a loyal employee! Don’t hire me!”

Next, it is imperative to highlight any experience that he has related to the job for which he is applying, starting by removing unrelated job duties (like operating a jet bridge…a hiring manager looking for a customer service rep doesn’t care whether or not he knows how to operate a jet bridge). Providing more details about the duties he has had that are related to customer service would also help his resume say, “I have the experience you’re looking for!” rather than, “I’m completely unqualified for this position!”

Finally, if Astroth has any relevant computer skills, then they should be clearly listed, but if basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is the extent of his technology experience, then it is better to leave it off completely because, in this day and age, it is assumed that everyone has basic knowledge of Office.

What is your resume saying about you? A professionally written resume can help you avoid situations like Astroth’s. Let us help, find the package that’s perfect for your needs.