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Inscape Certified Trainer
Develop A “Killer” Resume That Gets Interviews and Job Offers!

First: Some Words Of Wisdom From A Corporate Warrior

I can hear some of you now, words of wisdom for someone I don’t even know; but please bear with me for a moment.  The one thing I ask of you is to not succumb to the temptation to pad your resume so you can save time and take the first offer that comes and get off the rolls of the unemployed.  I know, I know it’s tempting…I’ve been there.  But take this for what it’s worth…the only thing worse than being unemployed is working day in day out at a job that makes you miserable.  It will be the hardest money you will ever earn and rarely leads to career success.  Stay with me here I’m trying to help you be both successful and happy.

Develop That “Killer” Resume and Get More Interviews and Prepare for Them More Effectively!

I will not be able to give you a complete guide to writing that “standout” resume because entire books are written with just that goal in mind.  But I can give you one or two golden nuggets that will likely not be found elsewhere.  For one great guide on resume writing visit: www.money-zine.com/Category/Resume-Writing/.

It is vitally important to develop your resume so it stands out from the “big stack” of similarly qualified resumes.  Not only does it make you stand out, it also helps a recruiter understand how you will fit into a team, and naturally begin to come up with questions they want to ask you.  This is exactly what you want!  A recruiter with questions and curiosity – they schedule interviews!  This is an easy statement to make about developing that “killer resume” but it is much harder to accomplish.  Again stay with me and I’ll explain!

 

The Stress of Looking For A Job

I really understand the stress and strain of trying to find a job.  In my career I have been out of work for more than a year.  It is especially stressful and frustrating in this economy.  But let’s face facts, unless you have a resume that stands out from the massive piles of resumes recruiters get each day your chances of getting an interview, much less offers, diminish greatly.  So “Job #1″ create that resume that catches the eye and delivers information that is unique and increases your odds of getting that all important interview.

Rules To Follow When Creating Your Resume

Follow the great words of Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true.”  Never paint a picture of yourself that is untrue or cannot be substantiated.  You don’t want to accept a job based on “false claims” or a position you are unprepared for or you will not be happy in.  I know it is tempting to fudge your resume or stretch the truth about yourself in order to get back into a job.  But look at it this way, you will have taken yourself off the market based on false information and that next opportunity will pass you by, not to mention the risk of ruining your reputation.  It is one thing to falsify your experience it is another to misrepresent who you truly are as a person.

So Exactly Who Are You?

Good question, huh?  This is by far the most difficult information to characterize and put on paper.  Consider these questions that potential employers are seeking answers to and will undoubtedly be raised in an interview:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • What demotivates you?
  • How do you develop and maintain relationships?
  • What are your life and work priorities?
  • What are your work habits?
  • How do you overcome challenges and prioritize work?

If you are not self-aware these questions can be almost impossible to understand, quantify and answer about yourself.  What makes having answers for these questions even more important is that recruiters and potential employers are paying more attention to the intangible “soft skills” exhibited by prospective candidates above and beyond education, experience, etc.  Most companies will perform a “behavioral” portion to your interview in addition to a skill-based one.  They’re likely to ask tough questions about you to see how well you know yourself – questions you might not have thought much about.  That is because it is just the information that will tell them if you will fit into their “corporate culture” and if you will be an effective and successful team player.

So How Do You Discover These Qualities and Tendencies About Yourself?

One way to find out more about you is to complete a DiSC Personality Test.  It will help you understand yourself and how your behavior affects others making your resume more effective!  It was developed by leading psychologists, has been used by more than 44 million people, and is used by more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies to develop solid, effective teams.  It will provide you with valuable information about you.

So How Do I Add Value To My Resume?

With more applicants than there are jobs, employers can be very picky.  When you apply for a job, your resume is likely to be one of hundreds the employer has received – all with similar intellectual and experiential qualifications.  A properly developed resume makes it stand out from the crowd, and highlights your unique behavioral style.  Employers are concerned with your skillset and experience.  They’re also just as concerned with how well you’ll fit into their company culture and the team you would be working with.  Because you’ll be more self-aware, you’ll more easily develop a unique resume and ace the behavioral portion of your interviews.  You’ll know how to maximize on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses as part of your resume.  By adding the information you get from the DiSC Profile to your resume you will stand out from the crowd.

The All Important Interview

After all the work of discovering who you are, developing that “killer” resume, and sending it everywhere you can think of you get a hit and you are offered an interview.  I know, you get a knot in your stomach just thinking about it.  So there you are sitting in the room and the easy part of the interview is happening, the “tell me a little about yourself” portion.  I know some of you are saying “that’s the easy part” but consider the dreaded question…”what are your weaknesses?”  Now comes the time when your mouth goes dry, your armpits get sweaty, and your stomach lurches.  Take heart, if you followed my recommendation about using a DiSC Profile to become self-aware the entire interview will be a breeze.  Because you have answers, in affirmative language, for any behavioral question you might get asked.  You are prepared.  Refer to that data and you should be fine.

You will be able to answer those tough questions with ease.  You may even find that your behavioral interviews are much shorter because the hiring manager already has had his behavioral questions answered by your resume and interview.  Companies hire not just for talent but for cultural fit – they want both head and heart!  So answer from your heart and you will be fine.

So What’s Next?

Thoroughly research the best ways to develop a resume from many sources.  But in the end add behavioral information employers are seeking and get the right “fit” for both your experience and “who you are” to maximize your success and happiness.

About 

Co-owner/Co-founder of Intesi! Resources. Educated as an architect I transitioned to technology during my career in architecture. Intesi! Resources was founded in 2002 and my focus is everything Web/eCommerce related from the design and development of our site to all the marketing activities involved. I also provide significant support for our clients on all our products and how they are used to deliver assessment-driven learning solutions that develop self-awareness and interpersonal skills.

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234 Responses to “Develop A “Killer” Resume That Gets Interviews and Job Offers!”

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  9. Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills the likelihood is very high that they will make an immediate assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. Adding to this problem is the fact that employers don’t have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they need.
    As you write your resume, keep in mind the level of job and salary you want. Be sure to create an image that presents you at the appropriate level. For example, language used in a resume for an $8 an hour position is much different than the language used for a $16 an hour position. I recently met Lynn, who had held a Health Insurance Claims Management position making $42,000 per year. She had retrained for the accounting field and hadn’t yet gained any “direct accounting experience” although she had prepared monthly accounting reports as a Department Manager.

  10. Ruben says:

    Thank you for all the tips and advice on creating a stand out resume. Do you think that age plays a factor in getting a job no matter how great your resume is? I am Forty Two and I know that I am competing with ladies in their twenties, some of these positions I would think they would want the experience over the youth but I do not have anything about my age on my resume, does that matter? I appreciate the hard work that you put into this article, if my resume pans out for me I will let you know.

  11. Dorothy says:

    It is the exactly who are you questions that I hate, why do they have to ask these anyway? What are your weaknesses? Who wants to draw attention to their weaknesses? How do you develop and maintain relationships? How does that pertain to the job you are interviewing for? I am not to good at these things because when I was younger and interviewing for a job they didn’t ask all of these questions. Now that psychologists are in the picture and they have stuck their noses in to the business world they think that by having someone answer these questions and take a handwriting analysis they can tell all kinds of things about you. I miss the good old days where the questions were simple and related specifically to the job. Your post is great though for teaching some one about all of this stuff before they get to an interview and are shocked by the questions.

  12. Daniel says:

    I absolutely hate talking about myself and my qualities whether it be good or bad doesn’t really matter. Do you have any tips for getting over that because I know that is what the person that interviews me is going to ask and that is always when I clam up and get nervous. The rest of your tips in your article were great and I intend on using them in my next interview. I will also be implementing some of the tips on resumes into mine as soon as I get done here. Thank you so much and please let me know if you have any advice about my earlier question.

  13. Juan says:

    Thank you for posting these tips I have heard that people are starting to use video in their resume’s, is that good practice or is that a little too informal. I always thought that an interview was about getting to know the real you not about applying for a reality show like “Survivor I really appreciate the ideas as far as what I should do when I go for an interview it has been awhile and I have never been a talkative person but I am going to have to try aren’t I. When you go to an interview they always want you to talk about yourself and that is something I really don’t like to do. Is there a way to kind of generically talk about yourself so it is kind of rehearsed.

  14. Adam says:

    Thank you for the tips to putting together a resume. I am now forty two and recently lost my job so I am out looking again after four years in the same job. Do you have any tips for ladies that are slightly older than the normal ones the company will be interviewing? If you have any additional tips for me please post again as I am running out of time.

  15. Matthew says:

    I am so glad that you posted this article on writing your resume. I have recently had to start looking for a job again so I had to update my resume and I forgot what all was on one. I also appreciate the refresher course on interviews, I had forgotten how intimidating one can be. I will be out there competing for jobs with young college age girls and I am forty to years old, who do you think they would hire first? Anyway you put together some great advice for us and I sure do appreciate it.

  16. Edmundo says:

    I just came across this web site while I was searching for resume templates. I certainly did not expect to find so much information packed into one web page. There are some great ideas and tips here which gave me some ideas on what to include and what information I can do without on my resume. What I am beginning to understand from reading the tips and the opinions of the readers is that things have evolved in terms of what is acceptable format for resumes. Like other readers have indicated, the floundering job market seems to have inspired a sort of liberated movement toward creative and unconventional thinking in the way you present your resume or demonstrate your skills. Another reason for this I think is that people have become more computer literate and better at using social media and software programs to create better presentations.

  17. Angela says:

    Recently, I noticed some unique cases of how some people landed jobs by using video not only to showcase their portfolios, but also to introduce themselves. Since we are living in the information age and with the internet playing such a key component In our lives, it would be completely appropriate for job applicants to create a youtube channel and post a video or more than one of themselves which can act as a sort of first interview for the prospective employer. I think more employers would appreciate getting to see candidates on video. It would speed up the hiring process all together and take up less of their time. It would save employers hours of having to conduct live interviews which they could reserve for the final candidates for the job.

  18. John says:

    Thank you for the understanding comments about the stress of looking for a job. It has been a long time sense I have had to look for a job so I really appreciate the pointers for putting my resume together again. How much detail should you put in a resume and how much do you just highlight the important points and save the rest for the interview? Thank you for the reminder to how difficult this can be, and thank you for your help in trying to make it easier. Wish me luck.

  19. Louis says:

    The author offers some wise words, indeed. In this floundering job market, people need to realize that both business owners and job applicants are thinking in new directions and being creative and innovative. Employers are feeling the pinch of the economy, too, and they are looking to get the most out of every dollar they put towards salaries. Employers are looking for creative thinkers and those who are doing things differently and efficiently. In accord with this thinking, I agree with the author that applicants should be efficient with their resume space and if you can find a unique way of presenting your skills and showcasing your body of work, then all the better. There is a lot of detailed information in this article which can inspire ideas for your resume, if you really listen to the advice being offered.

  20. William says:

    Thank you for making this blog, due to recent events I have had to dust off my resume and update it. I had forgotten what it was like to go to an interview again. I am a bit of an introvert so interviews are especially hard for me, I don’t like talking about myself and how great I am. I would much rather they talk to me and form their own opinion then hire me if they want to. This reminds me of the self evaluations that companies give you now when it is time for your review, you basically review yourself and they sign it, what ever happened to your supervisor reviewing you and telling you what you did wrong or that you did a good job and go on from there? Well thank you for the reminder I am going to need it, I will start practicing talking to people right now so that hopefully I am ready.

  21. Eileen says:

    You have posted some great information and sites that will be very helpful when researching how to put together a killer resume. I have recently started looking for a job and I have had to update my resume for this process. It appears now that I am going to have to make same more updates according to what you posted in your blog. I appreciate the help though so don’t get me wrong. One of the hardest things they always want you to do in an interview is tell them about yourself, so thank you for the advice.

  22. John says:

    Really informative blog post, thank you.

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    • Saabriina says:

      The formatting of your CV is not relaly the problem, as long as it is clear and concise and has the main headings that will be fine. You need to make sure that you put the right information in there clearly, detailing out things correctly and removing all waffle . Also dependent on your experience or what you do, please try to keep this as short as possible. Might I suggest that under your personal details at the top you include a few lines of summary explaining who you are, what you do and what you are looking for. Underthat I would include a Career History, putting in the company name, the position and the dates you were there. Perhaps include one line as to what they do i.e. manufacturer of pencils etc. Add a paragraph on your responsibilities and then on your achievements. Do this for all your positions.Towards the end include your education, what qualifications you got and where you got them from. Then detail out any extra curricular activites you may have/do i.e. manage a kids football team, school governer, chair of a charity etc. Finally add the bottom References then under that Available on request. There is no reason to give them references from the very beginning on a CV unless their specific job applicaiton that you have to fill out requires it.I look at CV’s all day every day, so I have an idea as to what works.. I hope these suggestions help!

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