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Proving an Attractive Resume to Be True

A resume is your advertisement that needs proof to be effective.

Consider any advertisement that captures your attention to learn more by promoting the attributes of a product being faster, easier, etc. that fit a need you have.   Your next step is to see the product in action since there are multiple products making the same claim and you want proof it meets the claims.  No doubt you have experiences where the claim and proof have matched, so you proceed to buy.   The same rule applies to resumes: capture attention and then give proof to those who want to know more.

First, a resume that captures a reader’s attention:

·         There is no shortage of articles, books, consultants, etc. to get insight on how to write, so let’s focus on the proof by going to three sources: trusted recruiter, HR and colleague in role who would hire you/colleague in similar role to get their honest opinion if it does anything to want them to learn more.

·         I recall sitting with Marcia Ballinger (Keystone Search and author of “The 20 Minute Networking Meeting”), it was providing less, not more, and being specific and relevant terms that improved a resume’s appeal – the goal was to think from the viewpoint of the reader to whom you are sending.  This is why you need a couple of different viewpoints and most likely a couple different versions of your resume so you give the reader something of interest.

Second, proving your resume to be true:

In terms of priority, here are the areas to build the proof behind your resume.

·         Your network: This is the most important item since a positive recommendation from a former employer or colleague with whom you’ve shared your skills (work, for non-profit, etc.).  Talk with each person, preferably face-to-face, to ask them for their recommendation and provide them specific areas where you want them to emphasize your skills (don’t worry about personal traits like integrity, etc. – your colleague will only give a recommendation if they feel that is true).  You can even write a short and specific recommendation to put on your LinkedIn profile.

·         Examples of work: With file sharing sites, like Dropbox, etc., you can share examples of your work or additional details about your background that do not fit on resume.  To show the scope and depth of my experience in Finance, I built a simple a grid with the typical functions of a CFO in the 1st column and the next columns with years of experience and specific examples.  I also have actual work (I’ve sanitized by removing name and sensitive data) to show how I approached an issue and style of communication.  I usually embed the hyperlink to the proof of work in my cover letter, e-mails, etc. – just to get them immediate access.  I was surprised to find that people looked at the files more often than I expected. 

·         Social media: It’s free and easily accessible by everyone.  Set up account(s) specifically for business and use them to show content. Remember, don’t expect people to be following you in real-time – they will scan what you’ve written or posted.

A good resume gets you in the door, your proof shows it’s where you belong – the proof is what helps set you apart.

To get started, go through your resume and highlight those points of your background.  For each important point in the resume, write down what proof you can add by personal network, work examples and social media.  No one is going to have a set of proof of work like you – because you apply a unique set of skills and experience into your work.  For the more complex items, follow the rule to help them to help you: Include a simple guide to explain the work’s purpose and how to review.

Hope this helps and good luck today.

Mark