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So That's What You Do!

Oct 11, 2007
As you may or may not know, I'm a HUGE advocate of hiring a professional to write your resume.

It only makes sense, considering the fact that your resume is one of the most important documents you'll ever own (somewhere between winning lottery ticket and driver's license).

Most savvy business professionals already know this; yet week after week I still get asked, "Why should I spend $500 - $1,500 for something I can do myself? Hell, I just re-shingled my own roof last weekend!"

For the level of candidates that I work with the total cost of having a resume professionally written is 1%, maybe 2%, of their annual income expectation--and that's just for the first year. If a well-constructed resume opens up an opportunity for you that pays $100k a year and you stay on that job for 3 years, the ROI is ridiculously huge. It's a no-brainer.

I'm almost to the point to where I will NOT consider a candidate for a position if it's blatantly obvious they've written their own resume (the exception is when I come across a candidate that's been at the same job for a number of years and is not actively looking).

Scott M. from my Career Makeover Series is an Information Technology Manager who worked for one company from 2001 until July of this year. When he got word that he was being downsized, he dusted off his old resume from 2000 and went about updating it to reflect his responsibilities from the previous 7 years. He wrote the following summary paragraph for his most recent position:

Entrepreneurial team player for this start up company built on a patented product that utilizes bar code scanning and digital imaging to recognize, monitor and document the administration of injected drugs while concurrently creating a digital anesthesia record. During the first six years I was tasked in building the technical services division which consisted of Software QA, Customer Services, Technical Support, and Information Systems. In addition I performed the duties of Project Manager, Project Manager Software Developer, BETA release manager, and Technical Sales Engineer.

He also included a handful of bullet points such as:

* Hired, trained and managed a team of support engineers, software engineers, customer service representatives, and IT staff
* Continually developed avenues to support, mentor and improve each individual
* Worked with account managers to provide high level customer services to ensure client satisfaction

...and so on...

Having gotten to know Scott over the past couple weeks, he is a very knowledgeable, capable, and dedicated professional; but you'd never know it based on his current resume.

As an exercise, I asked Scott to provide me with a list of his most significant professional accomplishments from the previous 2 years. This is an excerpt of what he came up with:

* We moved our offices 3 times in the past 9 months. I was responsible for the move of our data network and phone system to each new facility. This included wireless infrastructure and recovery planning for co-location to a local CLEC. The data network was successfully moved each time with limited down time.
* VOIP implementation. I managed the migration of our phone system from an older digital system to a VOIP in order to reduce costs, increase integration with our computer systems, and allow for expansion. Overall monthly savings were $800 - $1,000.
* Microsoft CRM installation and implementation. I was responsible for the conversion from our existing sales and support systems to an enterprise customer relationship management system that the sales, support and implementations departments could utilize without maintaining separate systems.
* Establishing our company as a Microsoft Certified Partner. This partnership was of great benefit to our Marketing, Development, and IT departments. Marketing benefited from the addition exposure gained by being a Microsoft partner, Development was able to garner additional support/consulting time with Microsoft, and IT was able to access the latest software to test and work with, resulting in an annual savings of approximately $25,000.

Hey, now this is the resume of a guy that knows how to get stuff done!

By documenting his accomplishments as opposed to generic descriptions of his positions, Scott's resume now projects a significantly more favorable impression of him as a professional. In addition, it helps open up specific dialogs once he's able to secure an interview with a potential employer ("So, tell me about this phone migration you did. We've been thinking about doing that for the past year or so.")

Employers generally evaluate management-level candidates based on their perceived abilities to accomplish certain objectives. If you leave them wondering as to what you're capable of when they read your resume, you'll never get the opportunity to show them what you can do.
About the Author
Thad Greer is an Executive Recruiter that specializes in identifying top operations, sales, and marketing talent nationwide. His website http://www.OperationsRecruiter.com, serves as a resource for employers and job seekers alike.
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