On Easter Sunday, I listened to a sermon given by Reverend Richard Rogers of Unity Church of Naples, Florida about Ta-Dah! moments in life. As he was talking, I had a Ta-Dah! moment myself. You know, Ta-Dah!, that moment of ultimate realization when it hits you and the light bulb clicks on very brightly.
We have all heard the Ta-Dah! word often in our lives. Many of us might think of the magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat and saying Ta-Dah! I always hear that word from children when they make a huge discovery and are excited to let you know they have made that discovery. I fondly remember my son at age seven playing the piano during a recital at school and at the end of his song, he hit the Ta-Dah! notes, as if to say, wow, I amazed myself, I did it! That moment still holds a tender place in my heart.
As a result of that splendid sermon and my wandering Ta-Dah! thoughts, I started pondering about the turbulent times so many people are facing in today’s workplace. As a recruiter and coach, I see thousands of resumes on a monthly basis and can count on one hand the number of Ta-Dah! resumes that come by my desk. I also spend approximately eight seconds reviewing each resume that comes in which means I make snap judgments about resumes. Given those statistics, resumes need to stop a reader in their tracks.
Let me share with you some of the key things that make a resume Ta-Dah!
TA-DAH! THE HEADLINE
* A great headline can capture the reader’s attention. There are three components to a compelling headline.
1. A one-line description of your area of expertise (i.e., what you do)
2. A personal branding statement (i.e., who you are and what makes you different)
3. A single-sentence quote directly from you to the resume reader (i.e., a glimpse of your personality)
* Place your headline directly beneath your name and contact information on the first page of your resume.
* Most of all, make sure your Headline matches the position for which you are applying.
Here is a strong example of a headline that reaches out to the reader:
Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist
* Pharmaceutical Sales Leader - 6 Years
* Top Sales Person - 2008, 2007, 2006
* Fully Certified
* University of Chicago MBA, Top 5%
* Willing to travel 100%
"I thrive on building long-term relationships with clients and consistently
exceeding their service delivery expectations. I thoroughly enjoy the process
of helping to enrich the lives of my clients. I love what I do for a living"
TA-DAH! THE FORMAT using KISS (Keep It Sweet and Simple)
* The length of your resume should be from one to three pages. If you have 15 years of experience, one page is simply too short so gauge your experience and make sure you are able to showcase your value throughout your career.
* Include all dates and positions in chronological order starting with most recent.
* Use bullet points under each position to highlight your achievements.
* Fill in time gaps. Don’t leave the reader with any questions or doubts about you.
* Use traditional fonts and stick with black font. Less is best!
* Use adequate spacing for easy scanning by the reader.
* Unless you are right out of school, your education should be at the bottom of your resume.
* Leave out personal information such as age, number of children, etc.
* Include training, certifications, professional memberships, awards, recognitions and foreign languages. Also include significant personal achievements such as accomplished marathon runner, etc.
* Make sure you spell check and proofread each resume you send out. You can’t imagine how many typos I see. It tells the reader that you don’t pay attention to detail.
TA-DAH! YOUR VALUE – Strut Your “Stuff” and Create a Vivid Image
* You must create a resume that sells you, because right now that is your job!
* Showcase core skills and use key phrases.
* Highlight spectacular achievements.
* Focus on measurable results. Use numbers and percentages. You want the reader to have a clear and powerful image of your skills and achievements. For example: "Led manufacturing redesign of distribution network and creation of global procurement system for top North American consumer products manufacturer creating $500M per year in profit improvement."
* Use powerful descriptive words to create a strong image such as Directed, Managed, Developed, Devised, etc…
* Be Specific!
TA-DAH! ATTRACT THE READER
Take the time to read the position for which you are applying. Analyze the job description and seek key words and phrases to “parrot” throughout your resume. You will create immediate attraction to the potential employer and, as a result, create a powerful and compelling resume.
TA-DAH! GET THE REFERRAL
Try as best you can to obtain A REFERENCE within the potential employer and use that person’s name in your cover letter. You are 50 times more likely to hear back from the reader if you are attached to someone within the company!
TA-DAH! THE FOLLOW-UP CALL
After sending your resume, follow-up with an email and a phone call. If you have a referral, mention the name. Don’t be afraid to ask for an informational interview.
TA-DAH! If you have gotten this far, you certainly are on your way to creating a compelling resume. Putting together a TA-DAH! resume is a lot of work but it is rewarding and will produce results. You are in the business of selling you and taking the time to focus on your results and accomplishments and create your personal brand will help you stand out in the sea of resumes. Please contact me directly for personal assistance in creating a resume that says TA-DAH!