Career Calling

April 2, 2014

Avoid “Figure Me Out” Resumes

I’d estimate that 25% of prospective clients bring me a resume that makes the same mistake: It asks a busy employer to figure out what the applicant is looking for. In such a resume format there is no objective or profile/summary to guide the reader. Instead, the resume simply lists job after job. I’m looking at a sample in which a prospective employee describe three positions in accounting and six jobs in teaching. Is this person looking for a job in accounting or teaching?

 

Don’t make the employer guess about your goals. They do not have time. Keep your resume focused. Begin with a brief frame that tells the employer what you want to do and why you are qualified. If you’re applying for jobs that can have a variety of titles, I recommend starting with a simple objective that states the position you are seeking. After that give a brief summary of your qualifications. Some summaries offer a paragraph style description. I use two or three descriptive points along with six to nine key words. Here is a sample:

 

OBJECTIVE:           To obtain a position as (TITLE)

 

PROFILE:

EXPERIENCE: Controller & senior accounting professional who has managed financial record keeping and advised owners on internal controls and operations.

 

LEADERSHIP: Proven team builder who directs staff, resources, and projects so goals are met and efficiency maximized.

• Accounting Systems                 •  Tax Preparation                •  Compliance

•  Cash Flow Management          •  Payroll & Benefits            •  Negotiation

 

By framing the resume in this way, you make it easier for someone who is reading quickly. Most HR professionals have to sift through large stacks of resumes for each job post. Keep your resume clear and easy to read. No one has time to figure out what you want to do.

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