|What You Have… That They Don't|
|Ok, so you know you're not the only one looking for a job. There are millions of people either out of work entirely or looking for something different, and their resumes are in the same pile as yours.
So how do you make sure your resume stands out in the crowd? The key is this: sure, there are many other people looking for your position – and they might have a similar background and qualifications. But, you have something they don't have: your personality. This isn't to say you can use your resume as a place to wax poetic about your basket-weaving hobby or tell a bunch of jokes; but despite what many job-hunting websites tell you, a touch of personality can go a long way to reach your desired audience.
Loosen Up… Just a Little
If you are a people-person, particularly if you are seeking a position in marketing or sales, you want to sound friendly. You can still sound professional while loosening up the language a bit and allowing your personality to shine through. Here is an example:
Bad: Improved customer retention through quality service. 15 years customer support experience. Enjoy working with people. – Somehow, I'm not convinced this person loves working with people.
Bad: I LOVE working with PEOPLE. I am incredibly enthusiastic and consider myself a total people person. I am also really good at helping people, because I like working with them so much. – Yes, this person is definitely outgoing, but not necessarily professional.
Good: I have 15 years of customer support experience, and take great pride in ensuring customer loyalty and retention through quality service. - This person sounds professional and pleasant.
The key here is to offer a concise, professional, and accurate presentation of yourself while allowing a bit of your uniqueness to shine through. Don't simply focus on the nuts and bolts; talk about what excites you about your career and what you enjoy. Your resume isn't being read by robots, it is being read by living, breathing people who are not only looking for the Right Candidate, they are looking for someone they'll enjoy working with. Keep it professional, but don't be afraid to be yourself.
Robin Galante is a freelance writer based in San Francisco, CA. She writes original, custom-tailored resumes and cover letters (no templates!) for clients all over the country. As a writer, she also specializes in web content, marketing copy, proofreading and editing. At night, she puts down her computer and picks up her guitar; in addition to being a freelance writer, she is a singer-songwriter and performs in venues all over the Bay Area. You can learn more about her resume services at http://robin2therescue.wordpress.com/services/writing/resume/, or email her at email@example.com.
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