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The Importance of Keeping Your Resume Focused

May 16, 2008
There is the right way to draft a resume and the wrong way to do it, unfortunately for most job seekers, the resume has become an avenue to start preliminary work on their biographies. It is not uncommon to find resumes where the applicants detail every award they have won since grade school, from the spelling bee to MENSA tests. Unfortunately for such applicants, your employers couldn't care less.

Prospective employers are not your Ivy League school board sitting down to review applications and to see who can bring about the needed "diversity" of the student body on campus. Educational institutions are basically concerned with your academic achievements and your IQ, Employers are concerned about the experience you have, yes, perhaps an inclusion of your GPA score or a few important achievements in your field of study but they are primarily concerned about what you have done in terms of work and what you are capable of doing for them.

Don't get it wrong, it's not as if anyone who feels like it can go ahead and apply for the CEO position at Citibank or JP Morgan simply because they feel they are capable of achieving results. But you have to stipulate how your background has helped you achieve results, and what results you have achieved.

Perhaps someone who has worked in the retail industry as a sales manager can talk about changes they made in their organization which increased revenue of their nationwide retail firm. In a case like that, the person may equally proceed to say the effort was subsequently rewarded with an award for the best sales manager nationwide in that firm and include other accolades. But it would be wrong to go about it by listing your awards without stipulating what you did to add value at an organizational level, the results you achieved, what that meant to your organization and how that can be important where the job you are applying for is concerned.

Of course, the question may be asked what to do in a scenario where the person is fresh out of college and seeking work at an entry-level position. In such a case employers will no doubt assess your grades and superb GPA's will look attractive because they are basically among the very few criteria that can be used to assess such a person and to determine whether that person is suitable for employment. However, the GPA alone will not suffice; they would have to know how to differentiate one applicant from the other applicants out there.

In such a case you have to underline the self-development initiatives you have taken in your resume and how they can impact positively on the career desired. Listing out volunteering efforts as well as internships undertaken will do you a whole lot of good when you are faced with such circumstances as it shows practical experience and ability to work in an organization or team.

Job searchers should not make it difficult for employers to ascertain their true value. A prospective employer is more or less investing money on a product, you as the potential employee are the product and you have to tell them why you are better than the next person out there. It's like buying cars, certain cars perform as well as the Ferrari but only a Ferrari can justify its price tag because there is a lot of value attached to the brand name and people are sold on it. Never stop selling yourself!
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