How To Rise Above Resume Hell

Apr 18 2008 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Resumes by Phil Rosenberg

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Resume Hell is where all the poor sad resumes go that never see the light of day. Do you want to be in Resume Hell?

Or would you like to rise above Resume Hell?

It’s really not that hard, because the vast majority of resumes do the same thing, make the same mistakes, and say the same thing. So if you take a different approach that’s thoughtful and distinctive, it’s not hard to rise above the rest into the daylight.

Tips to stay out of Resume Hell:

Be Different: Show how unique you are in business, and in your personality. Be you. Stop being afraid that what you say will disqualify you for a job – you wouldn’t want that job anyways. Be you, and find a job where you are the unique answer to company problems.

Be Specialized: Be a Subject Matter Expert, and wear it proudly – Especially if you are a manager or an executive. Your subject Matter Expertise doesn’t have to be about industry, though it can be. Your subject matter expertise can be in a specific corporate problem, solution, management technique, technology, etc. Your Subject Matter Expertise can be in Marketing, Operations, Finance or IT.

Be Most Awesome, Dude!: Write about what you accomplished. I saved X by doing Y. I increased sales by X% by doing Y. WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU DID, NOT WHAT YOU MANAGED. Stop being ordinary, stop writing about what you managed, what you were responsible for, what you organized, participated in, or advised.

Be Efficient: Use your Resume Real Estate efficiently. The average reader spends 15 seconds reading a resume before making an interview/no interview decision. Make your 15 seconds count by putting the sizzle at the top, and grab the reader by the throat in the top half of the first page. Shrink headers, move summaries and skills inventories to the back.

Be Customized: One size doesn’t fit all today. Heavily customize your resume for each job you submit your resume. Your resume should be a single use document.

Be Honest: Why lie? The truth is so much more interesting. Besides, chances are you’ll get caught by the target company or Karma.

Be Precise: You’re only perfect two times in your life – At birth, and on your resume. So you’d best spell check.

So how come so few people dare to be different? Well, we were taught to be generic resume writers, taught to write paper passed resumes, and it’s hard to change old habits.

Don’t be generic, be you. Fitting a square peg into a round hole is short sighted, and creates unworkable situations.

Instead, why not search for square holes?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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