Monday, August 24, 2009

In 200 words or less...

"First impressions last a lifetime," it is said. When a potential employer reads your resume, what impression does your Summary section leave behind?*

* I'm assuming that you aren't seeking your first job, which would mean that your Summary section would instead be entitled Objective and would describe what you're looking for. Everyone else should omit the Objective section and instead summarize what they have accomplished professionally.


Here's my 30 minute resume makeover.
  1. In 30 seconds, choose as many one word nouns that describe yourself. Don't try to overthink this: the first words that pop into your head will be the ones that you feel most comfortable describing yourself as. (Example: strategist)

  2. In 1 minute, choose a single one word adjectives for each of the top 5 nouns. Do not use the same adjective twice. (Example: excellent strategist)

  3. In 5 minutes for each pair of words, write a single sentence that justifies the adjective-noun pair based on your work history. (Example: Excellent strategist. Defined, developed and implemented a 12-24 month strategic plan that resulted in a 12% OpEx savings for the entire IT division.)
Add a prefacing paragraph and you have an excellent starting point for your starting point. Just like bait on a fishing hook attracts the fish to investigate further, this starting point will literally pull the reader into the rest of your resume to discover what other treasures lie within.

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