By Sean Weinberg
In the past, opening your resume with something to the effect of, “Seeking a position as an engineer” may have gotten you a job in your field. But today, focusing your resume solely around you probably won’t yield such great results.
In a recent post by my colleague Gerrit, he shared tips for long-term unemployed job seekers, and one of those tips was to focus on selling yourself -- writing your resume to show the employer why they need to hire you, instead of focusing on your wants and needs.
Not even sure where to begin? Here are some tips for effectively selling yourself on the job hunt:
Inventory your strengths and skills. What are your best (personal or professional) qualities? Are you organized? A great leader? What skills do you have that make you a desirable employee? Whatever they may be, you need to recognize them -- and then show employers how those skills and traits would make you a great fit for the job opening at their company. You should certainly include them in your cover letter and resume where appropriate, but don’t forget to also bring them up during interviews or interactions with employers too. Creating an online portfolio couldn’t hurt, either.
Write down all of your accomplishments at past positions. Simply put: you need accomplishment stories for your resume. Employers aren’t impressed to see that you “filed important documents” at your last position -- and it’s likely that is not the only thing you did to help your last employer. Did you create a new filing system that helped the company become more efficient? Or did you save a significant amount of money for the office by eliminating unnecessary expenditures? Think back to your achievements and provide numbers whenever possible to quantify your accomplishments. Not only is it much more impressive, but it’s also a great segue to telling these stories during an interview.
Figure out the employer’s pain points. What does the organization need that you can help them with? Why are they currently hiring for this position? Do your research on the company and the position to determine how you can become a solution to a problem they’re having -- and then be sure to show an employer why you’re the solution through your job search documents, portfolio, and interview answers. Oh, and remember those accomplishment stories you wrote down? Choose which ones are the most important based on the employer’s pain points. Are they looking to save money in this position? Show them you’ve done that in the past.
Although it would be great if an employer could magically peer into your past (think Harry Potter) and see why you’re a great fit, it’s ultimately your job to show them why you would be an asset if hired.
How do you sell yourself on your resume and on the job hunt?
Sean Weinberg is the COO and co-founder of RezScore,a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Also the founder of Freedom Resumes, Sean has dedicated his career to helping job seekers write the best possible resumes.