Resumes are Advertisements November 6, 2007Posted by Darth Sidious in Resumes.
Think of a resume as your advertisement, and the interview as the sales pitch. What would appeal to you more, an ad for a Star Destroyer that does nothing but dump diagnostic information (ship weight, number of bolts, fuel capacity, etc…), or an ad for a Star Destroyer that talks about how you can dominate in battle and crush your enemies?
Treat your resume like an advertisement, not like a biography. The purpose of an ad is to get the viewer interested – not to land the deal. The goal of the ad is to generate enough interest to make you want to find out more.
It’s same thing with a resume. It’s not about your life story; it’s about generating enough interest to get you called in for an interview.
What is the longest advertisement you’ve ever seen? Even the longest ones are short, and most have about 3 seconds to capture your initial interest, and another 27 seconds after that to capture some mind share.
You have the same thing for resumes. When a hiring Sith is looking, at least they’re committed to making a purchase (i.e. hiring someone), unfortunately for you you’re up against many other competing ads (resumes).
So your advertisement has to standout from the others, and it has to do that within a handful of seconds. This is very challenging!
Here are some guidelines to help:
- Humanoids are only capable of processing a small amount of information quickly.
- Make EVERY WORD count. If a word doesn’t add value, it takes away value. Make sentences concise and short as possible. Do not add unnecessary qualifiers!
Bad: Personal Sales Average of $23M compared to an estimated Company Average of $12M per Sales person.
Good: $23M Personal Sales Average (Company Average: $12M).
- Stick to 2 pages. Some have a feeling that they’ll provide the most important stuff up front, and if the reader is interested they’ll keep reading on… No, it back fires. The reader will see your entire set as too much information to absorb at the moment (because they’re busy) and move on. As well, no one cares what you did 10 years ago, they care what you’re doing right now. And what you were doing 10 years ago was a lower ranking position anyways, so unless you’re interesting in downgrading to that why would you waste valuable resume and mind time on it?
- Focus on ACCOMPLISHMENTS and not DUTIES. Everyone knows what a System Administrator does, or a Project Manager, and so on. So why would you waste space highlighting the exact same duties that all your competitors have done as well (and most likely will be putting on their resume)? It doesn’t differentiate you; it makes you the same as anyone else in that profession. What distinguishes you are your accomplishments. Write about how much money you’ve brought in on sales, or time saved through process engineering, money saved, operational margins, level of quality of your software, etc…