5 Days to a Killer Resume. Step One: What’s Your Awesome Sauce?

Looking for a job can be a soul-destroying experience. I know – I’ve been there myself.

You see the perfect job. You’re a great fit. You get excited and immediately send off your resume. You can picture yourself in that job – you just know you’d crush it.

But then you wait and wait and eventually you realize they’re not going to call. And after this happens a few times, you start to feel like maybe you’re the problem. Maybe you’re just not good enough.

But it’s not you, really it’s not. It’s your resume.

The truth is that most resumes suck, even though the people who wrote them are actually pretty great.

I’m on a mission to change that.

I want to transform the way you think about writing a resume and maybe even give your job search a new lease of life. And I’m going to do it in just 5 blog posts.

(If you know anyone who has been looking for a job for a while and could use this advice, do them a favor and send them this article).

You really are pretty great!

Over the 10 years I’ve been writing resumes, I’ve worked with thousands of clients. The two things they all have in common is that a) they have made great contributions at work and b) their resume doesn’t communicate that effectively.

When our clients complete our extensive questionnaire, they often say the same thing: “wow, I didn’t realize how much I’ve achieved.”

The same applies to you.

So the first step to writing a great resume is simply this: know that you are awesome.

You can’t sell a product you don’t believe in

Marketers know that they can\’t run a convincing campaign unless they truly believe in their product. The same is true of a resume.

If you’ve lost confidence in your abilities due to layoffs or a bad work situation, your resume will reflect that lack of confidence.

If you’re typically modest about your achievements, they won’t resonate on your resume.

If you don’t think you have anything special to offer, you’ll convey that belief on your resume.

And if you’re just plain uncertain about what to include, you’ll convey that too.

The truth about recruiters

Recruiters are busy people. They are under pressure to produce just like everyone else, and they are bogged down by applications. In fact, as technology has made it super-easy to submit a resume, they have become inundated. That makes it hard to get their attention.

Recruiters are also a little jaded – they’ve read thousands of resumes and they’ve seen it all. They’re super-hard to impress, right?

Maybe not.

When I was in charge of recruiting for old employer, I was pretty jaded. But there were certain resumes that instantly passed my ‘seen-it-all’ filter.

These were the ones made it straight to my ‘yes’ folder, to be called in for interview. What’s more, I looked forward to meeting those candidates and I started the interviews already feeling positive about them.

You can write one of those resumes

You can write a resume that has the same effect on a recruiter, HR rep or hiring manager if you just do two things:

1) Realize that you’re awesome (and would make a great fit for that job)
2) Communicate that you’re awesome (and would make a great fit for that job).

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but 95% of resumes don\’t meet these criteria. I think it’s because we tend to complicate the resume writing process by asking lots of irrelevant questions and getting ourselves all tangled up in details.

Either we don’t truly believe in our own awesomeness, or we just don’t know how to communicate it.

So let’s start with the first step. I want you to take some time to simply appreciate your own awesomeness. Here’s how to do it.

  • Think back on each job you’ve held and ask yourself what contribution you made?
  • How was the company/office/store/studio better off because they hired you?
  • What problems did you solve?
  • What were your proudest achievements?
  • What tough challenges did you face and overcome?
  • What compliments do co-workers usually pay you?
  • What nice things have managers said about you on performance reviews?

Make notes on all of this and underline those things that were said more than once, or the themes that seem to come up time and time again.

And There You Have It: Your Awesome Sauce

You now have a good list of all your strengths, skills and positive character traits. That’s your awesome sauce. And understanding it is the first step to creating a killer resume.

In my next post, I’ll talk about step two – how to turn that awesome sauce into a seductive message that makes recruiters eager to meet you.

If you don’t want to miss it, drop your email address here and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s published.

For now, go be awesome!

PS: For more help, why not take my free resume writing course? It’s fun to read, easy-to-follow, and there are no tests! Just sign up here now and you’ll get the first lesson immediately.

photo credit: mrjoro via photopin cc

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