First published on Career Rocketeer as a Guest Blog article.
Recently, I discovered Wordle (http://www.wordle.net). Wordle is a toy for generating word clouds from text that a user provides. It can help you figure out your brand and is fun to use.
The point of the Wordle for me was to verify whether or not I am profiled or branded properly. This picture above was created from my blog. It says a lot about the way that I think, what is important to me and shows that I AM branded properly!
Job seekers can use Wordle to see if their word cloud says the right thing about their resume. Most job seekers put together a document that is actually a C.V. or curriculum vitae (vital statistics of every place that they have ever worked). Instead they should be using a resume that talks about specific experience and education. (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9).
The biggest mistake that most job seekers make is the dump of everything, especially the non-relevant stuff into the document. They hope that the recruiter or potential employer (usually HR or the hiring manager) will sift through the mess to find out what they can possibly do. Guess what happens? When the hiring manager cannot see immediately what you can do for them or what position you are applying for, you resume ends up in the great recycling box called Resume Hell!
I was talking to a new client the other day with his resume. He had just been laid-off after 24 years with one of the large telecoms. Although he had some great qualifications, nowhere on the “resume” did I see a profile or what it is that he can really do. Was he really expecting to get some traction from a potential employer with that document? Another client thought that because he had been a consultant for the past 10 years, he was well known and did not need to use a profile.
The first cardinal rule of thumb on a resume is to create a killer profile. The profile tells an employer:
a) Who you are i.e. Senior Technical Manager. I always advise using the description from the job application.
b) What you can do i.e. Implemented complex desktop deployments for 100 users and internal customers. Tell the hiring manager what you are good at and can do for them.
c) What makes you that good at what you did or can do i.e. Created quick and painless cutover by doing 3-shift per day implementation over four days. Customer had no down time which means you can save them time, money and resources.
d) Why the potential employer wants to hire you i.e. Cost saving measures of the 3-shift implementation created under budget surplus to the satisfaction of the customer, thus netting each member of the team $5,000 bonus. Pure accomplishment statements.