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Your Resume – Your Personal Ad Campaign

Your Resume – Your Personal Ad Campaign

If we were to ask you what the number one purpose of a resume is, what would you say?

Most people would mention things like:

  • to document my job history
  • to list my skills and achievements
  • to impress the hiring manager
  • to get a job

While all of those are important, the primary purpose of your resume is to convince the reader to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

Just like a good ad, a successful resume elicits a specific response
it persuades the reader to take action and move the resume’s owner to the next step in the hiring process.

Keeping that in mind, which resume do you think is more effective?

  • the resume that is simply a concise listing of jobs held and duties performed
  • or the resume written by someone who understands that a resume’s purpose is to sell yourself to the reader

Hiring managers must skim through a lot of resumes.
After awhile, another resume with a long list of dry facts that outline your job history, skills and accomplishments can be enough to make their eyes glaze over.

However, a resume that demonstrates your achievements
by stating measurable accomplishments, can make the reader sit up and take notice. 
For example, instead of saying:
“four years experience as marketing director responsible for media relations.”

Say:
“achieved 20% annual increase in new accounts over four years through expanded media exposure.”

Subtle but effective ad copy is the secret to a standout resume.
The key words here are “subtle” and “effective”. We’re not suggesting that you craft a resume that comes across like the stereotypical used-car salesman’s hard sell. Instead, craft a resume that shows the reader how they can benefit from “purchasing” you.

Demonstrate those benefits by showing measurable achievements
instead of simply listing your experience, skills and duties. Don’t tell them how great you are, either. Show them. Help the reader understand what a great “buy” you are, based on your impressive accomplishments that helped previous employers and companies meet their objectives.

Put this policy to work in your cover letter
and in the “Summary”, “Objectives” and “Skills and Accomplishments” sections of your resume. Also, begin each entry in the “Experience” (job history) section of your resume with a strong statement that demonstrates your most impressive achievement while in that position.

As marketers and sales people are fond of saying: “documentation beats conversation”.

In this case,
documentation of your achievements – showing how you can benefit that company – will beat a dry recitation of skills, responsibilities and duties hands down.

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25 comments

  1. Good advice about putting your greatest achievements first! I need to reorganize my resume, I just have things listed chronologically!

  2. Saturday I was searching for blogs related to Web Promotion and specifically marketing resume and I found your related blog.

  3. I think that there was a lot of information that i did not know about professional resumes. I think there is a lot of good resume tips as well. I actually learned something I did not know. I guess you learn something new everyday.

  4. These are great resume tips. Job seekers also have to ask themselves how potential employers are finding their resume. Are you relying on email alone, or are you using any number of websites that exist so that employers can actually find you? Many of these sites also provide online resume tracking tools, so you can see exactly who has viewed your resume.

  5. Thanks for the good reminders. As someone who was a hiring manager for many years, I now find myself doing my own Employment Search (my job was recently eliminated). Your resume tips were good review for me, since I’m now on the other side of the job search. I’m in the process of updating my own resume and want it to be as strong as possible.

  6. When going out on an employment searh, it’s important that your resume give a snapshot into who you are. This article reminds you that employers read several resumes, but the ones that stand out are the people that receive calls back.

  7. Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  8. Wow! I never thought of a resume in this way!! I always thought of it as just a collection of your job history and skills not as an ad. I guess I should spruce up my resume! Thanks!

  9. What you said is exactly true. While on a recent job search and sending out online resumes, i found that, a resume that sells you is quite beneficial rather than a mundane one which only specifies all your experience.

  10. You are 100% correct when you say to use actual facts and figures. Just a little tweaking and your resume comes alive. Your suggestions are really helpful. Thanks for the post. I hadn’t thought of my resume as a sales tool.

  11. Exactly-instead of falling into the usual rhetoric “pile”, differentiate and not only get an interview, but generate anticipation.

  12. Good advice, don’t embellish or use a lot of cliches in your resume.

  13. This is something that most people overlook great post.

  14. Being in sales, I agree 100% that the first sale you make for any company is yourself

  15. This information is priceless.

  16. I was afraid to Blow My Own Horn. I thought the people reading my resume would think I was a show off.

  17. Everytime I read one of these blogs, I go back into my resume and change it to fit the new information.

  18. Wish I had known this before I sent out hundreds of resumes. No wonder I got no response.

  19. I didn’t fully understand the importance of selling yourself via your resume until I started working at my current job. My current employer doesn’t have promotions, you have to apply for every different position we have at the company. It was extremely frustrating at first trying to really sell myself through my resume until I used an Online Resume Builder and several different resources at work.

  20. In the end, that’s what an active job search is… an ad campaign. We have to sell ourself.

  21. Great article! Never thought of a resume as an ad for myself. Guess I’d better go and change around some of the “dry recitations of skills, responsibilities and duties” that I have on my resume.

  22. great reminder that your resume is more than just a job history

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