Join Jenny Foss for an in-depth discussion in this video Building your resume roadmap, part of Resume Makeover.
- Top of the mornin' everyone, or afternoon, or if you're burnin' the midnight oil, greetings you crazy night-owl. This is our media stay of weekend resume makeover. This is the stake. Or if you're a vegan, this is the seitan of the entire course. Today we're going to build out your overall resume strategy and then get to the business of drafting this baby, section by section. I know you might want to get right down to business with the sections, but we've got to spend some time on the resume strategy first There's no sense taking a run at this without any kind of a plan or a road map So in this module, I'm going to help you gather up some information, take a few notes, make some strategic decisions, and get all your ducks in a row before we let loose and start drafting this thing.
You're going to spare yourself all kinds of agony during the development if you first take the time to think through what, specifically, you're trying to accomplish here. Who are you trying to influence? What are they going to care about the most, and what messaging are you going to need to put out there, in front of their eyeballs, in order to grab their undivided attention? I'm going to recommend some steps for you to use in developing this road map. Following them in an exact order isn't critical, but I encourage you to complete all these preparation steps before you move into module five.
And that's where we're going to begin developing your new resume. Be sure and check out the link to our resume road map worksheet below if you want an easy place from which you can work through these steps. All right, step number one, think about your target market. You can't possibly develop a compelling marketing document, which is exactly what this resume is going to be, if you don't understand who you're talking to in the first place. In order to entice your audience into making the decision to contact you for an interview, you have to first think about who you're trying to influence, and what they're likely going to want to see on this resume, and know about you as a professional.
So first you want to ask yourself this, in what industry do I want to work? What specific types of positions do I plan to pursue? What key skills and experiences do these positions call for? You want to make it super easy for the reviewer to get what you could bring into that organization in that job. Jot down a few notes so that you can keep your core audience top of mind throughout the whole resume writing process. Step number two, study job descriptions.
Once you have a ballpark idea of what you're gunning for, you should head over to one of your favorite job boards and snag some job descriptions that line up pretty well with your vision of what that next job looks like. They don't have to be jobs you're actually going to apply for. So go ahead and do a nationwide search on a job board like Indeed, LinkedIn, or maybe a job board that's specific to your industry. The purpose of this exercise is to see the common terms, phrases, and required skills that go along with that type of position.
So you want to get your hands on three to five job descriptions that seem super interesting and relevant, and then compare and contrast. Line 'em up, side by side, and highlight the terms and phrases that are used across multiple job ads. Figure out the skills that are most common to the positions that capture your attention. These are going to be very useful as you begin to decide on which key terms to use on the new resume. So be sure and save this stuff for when you begin the actual draft. Next, step number three, consider your value proposition, or as I like to call it, your so-what.
In this step, you want to really think about what makes you a great candidate for the types of positions you're going to apply for. Why should a reviewer, whether that's the ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, or a human reviewer, notice or care about you? Because this isn't a given. Prospective employers review tons and tons and tons of resumes for every open position, to the point that they all start looking alike. Unless they come across a standout. So what makes you a standout? Can you spout that out right here and now? Do you know? You're never going to succeed in articulating your value proposition to a potential employer if you don't even know what yours is.
So before you craft a single line on your new resume, I want you to first consider what your value proposition is. Or what's my so-what? I'll share some of the things that I feel make me a stand-out as a professional to give you some specific ideas of what I mean by value proposition. Because I know that term is kind of blabbery. I'm really good at bringing people together. In fact, some people call me the Match.com of the business world. I live for finding mutual fits among people and organizations and then making the introductions that bring everybody involved together.
I also excel at coaching people in a way that's constructive, practical and inspiring--yet not intimidating. Hopefully, you agree with that point. To me, pretense is boring and snobbish and really unnecessary. So I work really hard to ensure JobJenn.com is none of those things. So I would highlight some semblance of these things on my own resume, assuming I were pursuing a position in my same field, or something similar. These are the things that make me a standout in my industry.
Now it's your turn. Think about your so-what. What makes you special compared to the competition? Jot down a few notes. Okay, moving on, step number four, answer these three questions, in writing, for each place you've worked. Number one, what am I most proud of? Number two, what do I, or what would my supervisors consider my key accomplishments? And number three, if Jenny Foss were to ask my colleagues, hey guys, what's the best part about working with Sue Smith? How would they answer that question? Often it's the answers to these very questions that will help you realize your true value proposition and enable you to stand apart from the competition.
We want to showcase the things that you're best known for, most proud of, and most appreciated for in this new resume. So think about these things now and then you can choose which ones you're going to build into the resume as you begin writing. The key point for this module, if it's not already abundantly clear, is this. Taking notes and planning before you begin actual development of the resume is going to make the entire process exponentially easier. So get to the business of road-mapping and then come right back.
We'll start the resume as soon as you're ready.