Do You Have A “Tombstone” Resume?
While most people think of resumes as employment histories, today’s resumes are marketing tools designed to sell you (the product) to a potential employer (the buyer).
They are not boring lists of responsibilities. They are not a place to document everything you do on a day-to-day basis. They don’t include every job you’ve ever had or every single thing you’ve done during your career.
That style of resume is sometimes called a “Tombstone” resume because it focuses on the past, not the future.
To be effective, your resume needs to highlight the skills and achievements that make you valuable to potential employers.
What Future-Focused Means
The days of getting a job based on your experience or job title alone as long gone. You may think managing a $MM budget or having executives reporting to you is impressive. But, on it’s own, it’s not.
Resume Not Getting Results? Time To Turn Your Boring Employment History Into A Marketing Tool
Do you send your resume out just hoping for the best?
Do you share it with friends with the caveat that you just threw it together?
I’ve looked at thousands of resumes. Many potential clients I talk to today think their resume is “not too bad, probably needs a little tweaking.”
When I look at their resume from the perspective of a personal brand strategist and former recruiter, I see a resume that’s rubbish.
Long boring lists of duties and responsibilities, highlighted as achievements.
✔️ Developed and managed marketing campaigns for key clients . . .
✔️ Managed organizational functions for the largest global . . .
✔️ Worked closely with leadership on corporate communications . . .
Time to change that.
How To Create A Resume For An Internal Promotion
The only time most people think about their resume is when they’re looking for a new opportunity with a different employer. But, that’s not the case. A winning resume can increase your odds of success when applying for an internal promotion.
If you’re competing with outside candidates, you already have one thing going for you. You’re already there. When you have a history with the employer, they don’t have to worry whether or not you’re a culture fit.
Hopefully, you also know some, if not all, of the players which might include the hiring manager, the HR team, and anyone else with influence.
That said, you still need to sell yourself to get the job.
Words That Turn Hiring Managers Off (And Words They Love)
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone describe themselves as a team player on their resume. I can say it’s way too many.
However, descriptors like team-player and out-of-the-box thinker make hiring managers cringe according to a 2021 CareerBuilder survey* of hiring managers and human resources pros.
How Recruiters Review Your Resume (It’s Not How You Think)
Just as resumes that don’t generate results have the same problems, resumes that resonate with recruiters and employers share commonalities. Effective resumes immediately grab the reader’s attention. They demonstrate what sets that candidate apart from the competition.
Many people think that recruiters begin by reading a resume from top to bottom.
However, the results of a 2012 Ladders study proved that in most cases, they don’t.
The Ladders had recruiters review resumes while wearing eye-scanning goggles. The main talking point, or buzz, from that study, was that recruiters spent less than 6 seconds reviewing each resume before deciding if they would interview the candidate or not.
Increase Your Odds Of Achieving Job Search Success In 2022
Welcome to 2022
Yes, the last two years have been challenging to say the least. But the job market improved in 2021, and 2022 is expected to be even better.
Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to kick start your 2022 job search.
Get Your Resume Recruiter Ready
Yes, the economy has made a comeback. There are more jobs out there. That’s great news if you’re looking for a job.
The bad news is people who have been hunkering down, staying in jobs they didn’t like for the past 2 years are now actively looking. So, the pool of candidates is more significant.
Make sure your resume is recruiter and employer ready. That means creating a resume that highlights your achievements.
How To Write Your Resume So It Won’t Get Lost In ATS Systems
All career professionals, particularly resume writers like me, say that you need to focus on your achievements. The best way to stand out from your competition is to demonstrate your value to employers. That’s true.
But even the most compelling resume won’t get you far if it’s not compatible with ATS (applicant tracking software system). Because important content, like your name and email address, may not be seen by recruiters and employers.
While ATS systems are getting smarter all the time, and some are better at reading documents than others, your resume should be formatted to be read by most of them. Here are a few things to avoid.
Headers and Footers
Many ATS systems don’t read heads and footers, yet I still see resumes with the person’s name and contact information in the header. Headers are a suitable place to put your name and the page number. Footers on the second page are an excellent place to put your name and contact information if the printed pages are somehow separated.
The Biggest Executive Resume Mistake You Don’t Realize You’re Making
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles on executive resume do’s and don’ts.
Make sure there are no misspelled words or typos, Take out the Objective Statement. Put in a Summary Statement. Don’t forget to include complete contact information.
I’ve probably written over a dozen myself.
However, there is one executive resume mistake that many job seekers make without realizing. It’s an error that can raise questions with a potential employer. I don’t see many posts about this, although it’s one of the easiest errors to avoid.
The mistake is inconsistency.
Your first introduction to 99% of recruiters and potential employers is either your resume or LinkedIn profile. If a recruiter sourcing you LinkedIn likes what he or she sees they will contact you and ask for your resume. If you send in a resume, an interested recruiter or potential employer will check out your LinkedIn profile.
Executive Resume Not Getting Results? This Is Probably Why
You may get away with updating the resume you’ve had since college or hastily putting together a resume on your own early in your career. However, once you reach the executive level or are targeting senior executive roles, you need a results-driven executive resume that tells a powerful career story.
The Career Ladder Myth
Most people think of climbing a career ladder. But the career ladder is a myth. It’s a career pyramid. Competition isn’t as tough for early careerists or even mid-level managers because there are a lot of jobs at those levels. As you move into Director, VP, SVP, and the C-Suite roles, however, there are not as many jobs.
How To Write An Executive Resume That Gets Results
Over the years I’ve looked at a lot of resumes. Some are dreadful. Those that are not as bad need work to get a recruiter’s attention. Particularly, once you reach the executive level.
Common Resume Mistakes
While the resumes are lacking in different ways, they all have some combination of the same problems.
Boring task-focused bullets (managed teams, developed new markets, etc.) or tons of metrics (reached 110% of quota, generated $8M revenue) with no story.