Do you know Karynne Prouli? She is immensely successful with impeccable credentials. The corporations she has worked for rank on everyone's "A list" and appear regularly in the news. Karynne has excelled at every position she's held, with the requisite increases in responsibility (and bonuses) that continual promotions entail. Even raising two children didn't set her back; for the short time Karynne was out of the corporate arena, she remained active volunteering for high visibility community causes. Karynne Prouli is - and has always been - at the top of her game. So why is Karynne's resume in the middle of the stack on many a recruiter's desk?
Simple. Like so many others, Karynne's resume is all about the past...not the future. And who can blame her? Most people assume that the resume is a list of previous job titles, dates and responsibilities; institutions and degrees earned; articles authored; associations chaired; boards served. All past tense. While that may have worked in a booming economy with plenty of career opportunities, it's not a formula likely to prove effective today.
Now, your resume must be about the future. It must address the perspective of your potential future employers and their needs. It must convince them that you - and you alone - can deliver a rare mix of qualities, mastery and proven success that will make a critical and positive difference to the firm. It must paint a portrait of someone who will be an ideal fit, instantly productive, integral to the organization's future prosperity.
Think that doesn't sound like you? You're not alone. Most people are more comfortable selling anything other than themselves. The fact is, you have a marketable skill set and you must become comfortable presenting it and you in the positive light you deserve.
What will bring the future into your resume?
Results: Use numbers, percentages and dollar figures to enliven the critical changes, cost reductions, operational streamlining, process improvements and sales increases you've engineered in order to prove you can achieve equally valuable results in the future. Gone are the days when it's enough for managers to state that they managed a staff of 40. Today, the interviews go to the manager who can reduce that staff by 27%, boost its productivity by 67%, while simultaneously reducing customer complaints by 54%.
Familiarity: Use commonly known terms that recruiters and employers can process quickly and easily, forming in their minds an image of what you do best. Avoid unusual acronyms, company-specific project names, esoteric industry jargon - especially in your job titles. When they understand what you do, they believe what you can do in the future.
Specialties: Use formatting to highlight your specialties. If you've achieved the same impressive objective in several positions, consider it a specialty you can offer in the future. Then, emphasize it in your summary and present it as a section heading on a skills-based resume.
These are just a few of the strategies that have helped Karynne Prouli -- and will help you! -- move from the middle of the stack to the top of the pack. These changes help ensure a resume that genuinely sets you apart from others and presents you as a proven achiever who can deliver results key to an organization's future profitability. Now more than ever, it pays to invest the time -- or in the expert assistance you need -- to move your resume out of the past and into the future...along with your career!