Making What You State Obvious

by on June 22, 2016

resumesmallAs a career coach, one of the documents I work with regularly are the resumes of my client. A resume is not always an easy thing for individuals to create. There are questions on what to include, and what not to include. There are questions on how long the resume should be, what font to use, whether I should include dates of employment, etc. However, one of the biggest challenges I find most individuals have when crafting their resume is “stating the obvious.”

For example many will start a resume’ with their work experience. They will list the jobs they have had, the duties of those jobs, perhaps follow that up with the schooling they have had, and feel they have captured everything they need. They leave it to the reader to “figure out”, where they may best fit into their organization. No one is going to take the time to determine where you belong in their organization, or remotely guess if you meet their needs.

The strategic job searcher looks to make it easy on their reader. They will start their resume’ with a brief paragraph or bullets highlighting what it is they offer the reader. Many have learned that while in the past some would head this section “Summary of Qualifications,” it is even more impressive if you can provide some sort of job title description of who and what you are. One who takes this approach also learns that they should be less focused on conveying the job duties or tasks that they had, but more so convey that which it is that they have accomplished. If for example, they led a division that had multi-million dollar budget to several quarters of revenue growth, they will quantify that budget and the growth. Additionally, if their resume is pointed toward a certain type of career position, they’ll make sure the accomplishments make sense for that profession. Outstanding accomplishments that have little or nothing to do for the profession you are pointing toward, have little effect on your reader.

A person who is looking to both thoroughly present their accomplishments but looks to do so succinctly as possible, overlooks nothing about their career. If for example they have had volunteer positions that exhibit skills that are important in the job they seek, they will include accomplishments in those areas. Yes, they may not have been “paid” for their efforts. But, many a non-profit, charitable organization or government agency would not be successful in their missions without the efforts and skills of those who can help organize their fund raising and meaningful activities which their organization delivers.

And stating the obvious does not only apply to written communication. Those who realize they have a message to convey also learn how to do so well orally. They realize that in order to gain a listener’s attention they are only going to have about 15 to 30 seconds at most. Therefore, they make sure the first things they say gain the listener’s attention. They may do so by first asking the listener what some of the biggest issues are that the listener faces. Once hearing that, they may indicate that they have assisted many with that issue successfully. Or they may indicate they are continually working and addressing the issues of others with similar challenges. The communicator that connects gets to the point.

So, if it appears that no one is responding to those resumes you are sending out, or that people appear to lose interest quickly when you present yourself, take a step back to examine your communication. Put yourself in the position of the listener. If you were reading or listening to the same communication, would you quickly understand the value you can deliver to another? And, if you are not sure what that value you deliver to another may be, take the time to be a questioner yourself. Ask others what they believe you most provide in the activities in which you take part. The quicker you can get your message out there, and the more obvious you can make it, the more successful you will be in obtaining that which you want next in your life.

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