Sunday, October 16, 2016

Getting to WOW on Your Resume

Author: Michael Kaplan
              Proposal Writer

You’ve read the position description. You’ve adjusted your resume to fit the position description. All to impress the hiring manager reading your resume.

Yet before hitting the send button to whisk off your resume, ask yourself one last question.

Am I impressed?

In my over 20 years’ of working on business proposals, one of my major responsibilities was to write, and often re-write, resumes of company resumes for use in proposals, to help my company win important contracts.  Resumes would come to me in the form of “getting the job,” and I would then have to transform them to “win the job.” That is, transform them from an information document to a sales document. Not always easy to do. I’ve found that many people, especially those on the technical side of things, when they write their resume, just state what they did for their company, and that it. Just provide straightforward information.

That’s where I come in. I carry a keyboard (apologies to Joe Friday from Dragnet).

Upon receiving a job resume from an employee, I would then develop their company resume, based in the information provided by the resume, in the company format.  I would then interview the person, either via phone, e-mail, or (the preferred method) in person. Questions I would ask them would include the following:
  • Was the project completed on time?
  • Was the project completed on or under budget?
  • Did you receive any commendations, either verbal or written, from the customer for your work, or your team’s work, following the completion of the project?
Most of the time, these won’t be on a job resume, because many will not likely brag in their job resume. Yet it’s important, since the objective of a resume, whether it’s for a job or a proposal, is to sell the person, to get the customer excited to have this person working on their projects.

After working my magic, I then submit the new copy to the person whose resume I adjusted for their review. The reactions I have gotten included “wow, I did that?” and “it makes me look like I did something.”

When writing your resume, think of yourself as your own Hollywood Press Agent. How do you put yourself in your best light? Are you impressed with your accomplishments?

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