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The Resume Debate
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July 4, 2009

Free to Change!

America's Independence Day celebrations typically begin with shopping.  Whether you're buying hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, flags or horseshoes, each has been prepared with painstaking precision to attract your attention...to appear irresistible to you...and persuade you to make the purchase decision, "Yes, I need this!"

You can be certain that the manufacturer of each of the products you buy this weekend has done extensive research to ascertain exactly which flavor, color, container, label, name, display case  and shelf placement will be most effective in appealing to you...precisely what you expect your resume to do for you!  

Just like those who make and promote products, you can -- and should -- do your own research to discern what works for yourself. 

How?  Simple.  Follow the same basic rule of direct response marketing that experts have used for years: if you're not getting the results you want, make a change.  Then another.  Then another.  Keep tweaking it until you get the results you're after.  

We all know the expression, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Well, here's another, "if it ain't brokering for you, fix it now!"  When it comes to your resume (and cover letter) there are plenty of small changes you can experiment with to improve your results: 

  • Font, size and color -- Above all, your resume must be easy-to-read so basic typefaces are the rule.  However, it must also look appealing.  Try using a different font and/or color for your name, your contact information and section headings (e.g. Experience, Education.)
  • Overview -- Your profile is frequently the first thing recruiters and employers read.  If you're not getting the results you want, it may be time to try a new approach.  For a fresh perspective, show it to those who know you and ask if it intrigues them, if it reflects your best qualities and accomplishments.  Their responses may suggest a new direction. 
  • Content -- The majority of jobhunters include far too much detail in their resumes.  Not only will most of it not be read, its sheer volume may actually repel the reader!  So read through yours again with a red pen in hand.  Cut, consolidate, combine, condense, conclude.  

These are just a few of the changes we recommend to jobhunters frustrated in today's challenging market.  What's best for you depends on your unique strengths, experience and accomplishments.  If you're not getting the calls and interviews you want, consider experimenting with something new.  If you're having trouble deciding what to change on your resume, we're here to help!  
 
Let's work to ensure your resume will produce the results you want: FIREWORKS!