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Three Tips to Writing a Resume that Grabs Attention

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Sometimes great ideas come from unusual sources. This article was inspired by research that I was conducting on how to give an awesome presentation. Here are three little yet powerful ideas that I have translated into the world of resumes!

Do not begin with a professional profile.

Many resumes begin with a professional background that’s intended to build credibility. Here’s an example of one that I wrote for a senior level client:

Strong manager and decisive problem solver with over 6 years’ experience of successfully delivering diverse IT projects valued at up to CAD$65Million that met corporate objectives.

Articulate and influential communicator who builds consensus with project stakeholders, monitors budgets, administers activities, organizes details, and directs staff.

Recognized for exceptional technical skills, astute risk management, motivational coaching, financial acumen, and the ability to communicate with all levels.

It could be that without proof, nobody believes you yet! Rather than asking them to translate your background information into something that’s meaningful to them and their business, just skip it.

Improve your introduction.

Don’t waste time explaining who you are and what you’ve done. Rather, launch your resume with a great testimonial. Imagine how the following would grab a recruiter’s attention:

“Andrew has an amazing capacity to ‘sniff’ out sales potentials. How else to explain his consistent, year over year, market share building, goal-busting sales accomplishments?”

or

Award Winning Employee recognized for Customer Service, Exceeding Performance Expectations, and Training Achievement.

Open with a surprising yet relevant fact.

To get a recruiter focused on what you’re going to tell him or her, you must break through the mental haze caused by resume review! This is best accomplished by a startling fact, for example:

2012 – Saved over $40K by eliminating one full time customer service position without impacting service levels or quality (I’d love to tell you how), and $15K by renegotiating three service contracts.

2011 – Catapulted customer service ratings by 50%, from a rating of 40 to 90, after researching and customizing corporate training, and training and mentoring in “Disney-style” service methodology.

Research supports the ideas above. Recruiters, research shows, reliably begin reading a resume at the top, so don’t let them hit their “snooze” button!

These three tips are summed up as one: grab attention at the very beginning! Don’t bury your accomplishments under a lot of “responsible for, provided, and assisted with.” Replace the unsurprising and predictable resume-speak with specific-to-you and attention-grabbing bottom-line impacting results!

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