You walk past the store window and see the season’s newest fashions. The mannequins are wearing very attractive outfits, but after a few seconds glancing at the display, you lose your interest and keep walking.
A few stores down, you see a similar display. This one is much more exciting. It has a theme. In addition to the manikins wearing ensembles, there seems to be a full line of coordinating accessories. You get the sense that this designer’s collection offers many options for you to expand your wardrobe on a budget.
Guess what? Both collections are from the same designer! The first store simply showed a few items on the manikins; the second store took the collection to the next level by including exciting merchandise such as jewelry, handbags, belts and shoes to go with each outfit.
A resume should be merchandised the same way.
For every job title, there are thousands of candidates with similar work histories. What sets them apart? A hiring company certainly knows what each candidate’s background on the resume should cover. In fact, they have outlined those requirements in their job ad.
Differentiating factors range from leadership of special projects, implementation of programs and improving processes to identifying new business opportunities and increasing revenue growth. Beyond these include required credentials and length of experience.
It is not enough to plainly state these ‘accessories’ on a resume. A strong resume details what each initiative is about and shows a candidate’s involvement and results using percentages, dollar signs and explanatory statements to get the message across.
Now picture the manikins in the first store window. If you list your responsibilities the way a hiring company lists their requirements in the vacancy announcement, the reader will certainly move on to the next display window. In this case, the next display is your competition’s resume.
To prevent that from happening, be sure to merchandises your skills and achievements effectively on your resume. Think of your keywords as earnings, a testimonial from a client or former supervisor as shoes, and your special projects as a handbag.
Make sure you accessorize your experience and accomplishments in a way that gives the read the sense that you are interesting and practical, and that they will get a good value for their budget. As a new outfit is a good addition to an existing wardrobe, a qualified candidate is a good addition to an existing workforce.