The new resume flies in the face of reasonable writing, but right now, just for resume, nouns are winning the eye of the scanner. And they are the nouns in the job description the scanner is looking for. A match gets your resume in front of a real person. Until that happens, you won’t find a job.
The second mine-field is the words you use to describe your job responsibilities–especially if you are changing fields or job levels. Your resume is about your past. If you use words that link you to your past job, you won’t find the new one.
For example, if you were a financial writer and want to be a trainer, don’t describe yourself in your resume using financial language. “Wrote extensively on retirement plans, 401(k) investment options and high-yield portfolio management” are words that classify you as a financial writer. Instead, read the ads for a trainer and use those keywords to describe your old job. No, don’t make it up. I’m talking about using a different vocabulary to describe the work you did.
If the training ad is looking for someone who “develops training programs and is familiar with adult learning practices,” you might want to say in your resume that you “developed stories to train adults to prepare for retirement,” or “Wrote material to familiarize adults with practices that provide a secure future.” Those aren’t wonderful sentences, yours will be better because you have more job description to choose from. The point is to use the key words for your future job to describe the past. So you can move out of the past and into a future–or at least get a job interview with a real person.
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© Quinn McDonald, 2009, All rights reserved. Republished with permission of the author. Quinn McDonald is a writer and life coach; her website is http://quinncreative.com/
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/ / CC BY 2.0