Bad Resume Advice

16 Nov
A new client came to me with a resume which he had paid over $500 to have written by a “professional resume service”.  Not only did it not produce any positive results for him, but a recruiter friend of his told him it was “terrible” and needed a “complete rewrite.”  Among several problems, one commonly made mistake stands out.  Close to the top of the description of  his current job is this:
  • Responsible for the strategic sales, sales, and business management of the company’s publications operations.
I don’t like it!  It raises all kinds of questions, about which no busy HR or Hiring Manager has the time to speculate:
  • What kind of sales are we talking about?
  • What kinds of clients were developed – how many, average/total sales per client?  Total boost in sales by dollars and/or percentage?
  • What do you mean by “business management” and “operations” ?  In this context, the terms are meaningless.  And, why are these functions tied into the bullet about strategic sales?
Generalities don’t cut it when there are hundreds of resumes to pick from for any given job.  More than simply a restatement of your job description, today’s successful resume must depict how you dealt with your responsibilities.  It must make you stand out from all the other candidates who have had similar responsibilities in their current or former roles.
As a job hunter, you have a job:  give the people who look at your resume the information they need to conclude that you are an “A” player – the “best fit” candidate.  You have to present that information respectfully, factually, and in an engaging way that briefly tells a story.  Each bullet point should focus as clearly as possible about one aspect of your experience and accomplishments.
There are several ways one might reformulate bullet point I’ve quoted.  Here’s one take which I do like:
  • Increased sales by 32% in the first year of implementing a new sales strategy created by analyzing the elements which led to failure of earlier strategies. Utilized client feedback and internal organizational resources to refocus marketing message and reposition product line.

Comments? Questions? Share them in this blog with a response below this posting.

 

 

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