Resume Writer & Resumeter Guide
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With all the services, articles, and websites out there devoted to the subject of resumes, why does Preptel think we need one more? Because Preptel’s Resume Writer gets it right. In fact, by using either our free, do-it-yourself Resume Writer Guide, or the special members-only Resume Writer services, you may never need help creating your perfect resume again.
The Preptel Do-It-Yourself Resume Writer Guide
Really and truly – it’s useful and it’s free!
You’ll open new and better job opportunity doors with Preptel’s FREE, no-strings Resume Writer Guide. This short, simple, educational and enlightening PDF Guide is available to registered guests on the Preptel website. You can return, again and again, to access this and other Free Preptel Guides here on our Resource page.
The Preptel Free Resume Writer Guide:
- Gives you a paint-by-numbers, walk through tour of creating the best resume you’ve ever had.
- Unlocks the secrets of job search-engine technology.
- Solves the mystery of why you are, or you aren’t, getting those interview calls.
- Provides exclusive research-supported training exercises and formulas that produce the interview-landing keyword strategy right for you.
- Lets you rate your resume readability and strength against our expert’s checklist guidelines.
Still need and want more?
Preptel’s exciting membership packages will really kick your resume into high gear. In addition to the Preptel Resume Writer Guide, with Preptel membership you’ll get a customized guided tour to writing your resume. Our expert resume writers are not just writers – they’re HR experts with insight and expertise in the job search and hiring industries. Using the uniquely effective Preptel approach, they’ll work directly with you, on the web and in consultation, to:
- Critique and asses your existing resume
- Analyze your strengths, skills, accomplishments and results
- Derive your customized keyword and key statement strategic resume approach
- Guide and collaborate with you on your resume final draft production
- Provide job-specific customized resume reviews and fine tune final drafts for pursuing additional job opportunities
Combined with other Preptel Membership Services, like our Resumeter, Certifications, Interview Guides, Insight and Salary Maximizer, Preptel’s Resume Writer will help you get your job-specific customized resume to the hiring manager faster, and you’ll leave the confusion, the expensive and frustrating trial and error, and the rest of your resume writing headaches behind.
Your Preptel Resume Writer & Resumeter Guide
Virtually, everyone looking for work needs a resume, but contrary to popular belief, the purpose of your resume is not to get a job. Your resume is supposed to get you an interview. How well you understand that difference and translate it into your resume will either rev up or diminish your chances of converting resume submissions into actual interviews.
Passing the resume test doesn’t usually happen by accident. A winning resume incorporates a strategic combination of search engine know-how, resume design, and of course, resume content, to beat ever-more effective screening processes and technologies. How can you get the 80% + resume-to-interview conversions that will spark up your job search?
Unlike many resumes that simply list employers, experiences and tasks, an effective resume is a real marketing tool that presents your strengths, your accomplishments and your experiences in an easily understood, positive light. A winning resume presents your skills and accomplishments to a hiring manager already mapped to the new company and the new job. It structures and guides your interview discussion, and helps both the applicant and the hiring manager stay on track and on point during the interview. How do you get your resume there? First, you’ll need to decide on a format that is right for the type of job you’re looking for, but before you start moving and changing things around on your resume, take a good look at it, and put it through this test:
- Look at your resume and do a simple “red/yellow” exercise – highlight all the words and skills you love to do and are proud of in yellow, and cross off all the other elements in red. If there is more red than yellow on your resume – you’re looking for the wrong kind of work, and you’re asking for it again on your resume. Rewrite your resume if it contains more red than yellow highlights. Reword or delete any of the red content from your resume.
- Next, assess your accomplishments and skills for the right words and phrases. Use the exercise and information below to derive a list of keywords and phrases that embody your strengths, your skills, your goals and your potential.
- Armed with the previous exercises, you should now have a pretty good idea of what you do, and you should have a fairly clear understanding of how you accomplish things. You know what you have to offer an employer, and you even have examples that you can talk about where hard skills and soft skills combine into areas of special focus and interest to produce a result and an accomplishment. Fill in the chart below with the results of your exercises, and get ready to create your very own world-class resume.
- With your completed Professional Profile in hand, assess the remaining “yellow” words on your resume against the Professional Profile chart. Are the same, related, or identical words and descriptive phrases used between the documents? Do they contain common and/or related elements? Are there similar/related words used to describe different activities on multiple occasions?Note any duplicated words and decide whether their duplication implies stagnancy and repetition or growth, building expertise and strengthening confidence. Are these repeated items and their associated activities present because you desired and sought them out, or because limited skill or expertise kept you from moving on? If lateral activities happened out of stagnancy and lack of desire or opportunity, repeating them on your resume is like asking for trouble. The fact that they are being repeated adds no potency to their value. If, on the other hand, repetition produced practice, which in turn produced a deepening professional passion, reputation, credential or expertise, you should take note of the associated words and start thinking about special highlights and strengths you’ll want to present with high-visibility positioning on your resume. By recognizing and defining these weighted experiences, you can hone your upcoming interview content into important core themes and discussion guiding highlights.Whether the document contents are dissimilar or compliment one another, this collection of nouns, verbs and adjectives will come together next to form the real backbone of your resume – a resume that fits you now and fits your future.
Organize your words:
The words you collected and assembled in the previous activity now need to come together in more formal relationships and specified context to form your resume. Review the edited “yellow” words from your resume and your skills and accomplishments assessment. Using these words and phrases, create a categorized Keyword Organization Chart, organized into the following four boxes.
Decide On the Right Resume Format
There are several basic types of resumes. Some of these are a matter of personal taste, and others are more appropriate for specific jobs and job search situations. For example, an experienced candidate with more than 15 years of skilled experiences might best use a functional resume to summarize their expertise and minimize the possibility of accenting their age group. Here is a sample format that works well for online application submissions - http://www.preptel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/resumetemplate1.doc.
If you have difficulty deciding which type to use, think about the types of jobs you’ll be applying for and the companies you’ll likely be applying to. Here are some informal guidelines that might help you choose:
Create the right blend
If you’re using a chronological resume format, create a list of the places you’ve worked, and when. Include your job title. Next, under each job on your employment list, add appropriate words from your Keyword Organization Chart that apply to each job. Don’t worry about organizing these words into sentences yet – just list the appropriate words under each job.
Now, apply the following formula to create sentences and bullet points that summarize each job experience.
Here’s the guiding formula:
<<VERB>> + <<NOUN 1 and/or NOUN 2>> + <<ADJECTIVE/THE REST +MEASUREMENT (if available)>>
Add appropriate connecting and describing words (surprisingly, you don’t and shouldn’t need many!), to derive sentences appropriate for the following format:
Top Accomplishment attained or Top Performance Appraisal Rating Description
Followed by zero or up to five Keyword Statements created with the Guiding Formula.
If you decided to use a functional resume format instead of a chronological one, your main statements will consist of the 3-5 top “Noun 1” words, or the top 3-5 keyword statements you created above. If you’re using a combination format, decide on whether you’ll be organizing your content by company, by job family, or by specific credential. Don’t confuse your reader – once you decide how to organize your resume, don’t mix up the elements within the format.
Here’s a completed example:
- By working with teams to build better business cases, reduced overall IT budget requests by 15%, saving more than $27 million in retiring legacy technology requests.
- Designed unique regional outreach and consulting models.
- Recruited, trained and worked with outreach team leaders to implement model through 5 specific medium to high risk/high expenditure/high exposure projects.
- Designed and maintained lessons learned and collaborative best practice knowledge base.
- Ultimately, designed, produced, and delivered a replicable, sustainable program that produced substantial savings across a variety of organizational environments.
This example, though it may be a bit complex (ahem), is an accurate summary of the applicant’s real activities during that period of accomplishment. Here are some of the reasons it is written the way it is. See if you can decipher the guiding formula from the example.
This person has:
- A solid technology implementation background.
- A BA in Psychology from a highly respected and well known science university.
- An MBA in Technology Management – obtained while working on some very complex, high budget, national healthcare IT initiatives.
- An interest and an education in biological and cognitive psychology. They use science as an underlying strategic element when working on Project Management initiatives in large corporate healthcare IT environments.
- The background, the history, and the references check out that this person is qualified to do what they do, and has a measureable, verifiable results track record to prove it.
- They prefer to work through collaborative teams of educated professionals, subject matter experts, project managers and business/technical analysts.
- Implementation strategies combine both business and technology elements, and includes a documented change management program.
- Has worked on small business and disadvantaged business enterprise development programs for the last 7 years. The client list is growing and improving.
You can see how these bullet points are either a combination of statements constructed through the guiding formula, or simple milestones and highlights from “Noun 1”.
Notice too, that they tend to be statements that neatly summarize where the applicant is right now. They convey the very things an employer wants to know. Try to imagine how a hiring manager might construct an interview around a resume that conveyed information about the applicant in this way.
Finishing Your Resume
All resume’s should contain an objective, and now that you’ve developed your keyword statements, and you’ve organized your thoughts and presentation around a resume format, it’s time to decide what you want to say. Using this Guide to construct your resume, you are likely to confront some defining moments when your work history, your progress, and your intentions for the future become a bit more clear.
To finish up your resume, check with the requirements for the job market or employer, then, add headlined/bulleted information about your education and other awards, recognitions, affiliations and interests. Don’t forget to include your current contact information; these days, a phone number and email address are mandatory resume components.
Once your resume contains the right words, do the “Red Yellow” exercise again, this time focusing on the yellow highlights. A good mix is 80% of the things in yellow should be things you want tied to your performance appraisal and compensation; 20% should be about the skills and expertise you want to rely on for good work, but you don’t want to be rated solely on their execution. They should be tied to the 80% group in meaningful ways. The more meaningful, the happier and more effective you’ll be while doing them, and the easier time you’ll have talking about your resume in an interview!
Put it to the Resume Writer Test
Check both your collected statement groups and individual keyword statements with a simple test. Together and overall, each keyword statement group should answer the following questions.
- What did I use (Verb) to do what (Noun 1 or Noun 2)?
- Where did I do it or who did I do it for (references & credentials)?
- What did I do it for (Adjectives and The Rest)?
- What happened because I did it – what were the results? (Awards, statistics, financial results, some other change, etc.)
- Is there proof? (recommendations, statistical evidence, awards, certificates, credentials)
Beat the search engines at their own game
What were those winning resume points? A winning resume incorporates a strategic combination of search engine know-how, resume design, and of course, resume content, to beat ever-more effective screening processes and technologies. If the technologies and the HR crowd are joining forces to raise screening bars ever higher, how can you be sure your resume meets the right standards? There’s an old saying; “don’t ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.” By focusing your resume development on words, your new resume has built-in search engine savvy.
Search engines are built on database structures. Databases contain words or things. Since employers are asking for resumes and not movies, we’re dealing with a flat information structure of text, so when we’re talking about resumes in this context, we’re talking about words. Search engines simply get criteria defined by an employer, then go through that resume text looking for strings of text that match. The higher the frequency of matches, the stronger the applicant. Recent developments have taken this basic process into the 21st century, and your resume needs to be constructed to keep up. You can run searches on strings of text with a variety of motivations in mind. Some employers look for words they do not want to see, as well as those they do. They define pairs of words to match, like technology + healthcare, to get granular results.
Put your resume through the Preptel Resumeter Test Now.
Remember, while the employer usually wants and needs to fill a position, they want to do so as inexpensively, and by exerting as little resource expense as possible. Generally, that means they want to see a group of people who have the best, most relevant track record possible, and they don’t want to go very far looking for them. They will if they have to – if the candidate is good enough. So, the optimal search engine routine is based on the hottest and most relevant needs, combined with keywords centered on frequency and duration weights. Employers work with search engine developers to further balance that recruitment process. They usually have the ability to fine tune the percentages and the frequencies of search criteria to help create a manageable list of applicant profiles. For instance, an employer might define criteria that shows them only the people who match at least 97% of the specified word list. Further, they want only to see people who use each of 3 specific words at least 2 separate times within the resume. Those applicants who also have a cover letter that meets a subset of those criteria will gain ranking on the list.
Here’s how that interview really happens.
In reality, and in the interest of fairness, while that hiring manager should, and would probably like to interview all of the 150 people who passed the search engine test, they have neither the time, the resources nor the budget to do so. So, they dig into the applicant profile list, and here’s how it plays out:
- They reduce the list size to see only ten of the top candidates. If you are not in the top ten, they never see your resume. It’s equally as important to apply for positions that match your resume as it is to construct your resume in a way that will match the words in the job post. If there’s an additional screening interview in the hiring process, you’re still at least a week to two weeks away from a real hiring manager interview.
- Some resumes have more weighted value on the list than others. For instance, if a fellow employee recommends this person, they move up in rank, and supersede other applicants who tie for keyword matches. Cover letters can also increase a resume/applicant value. Generally, if you already work for the company, or for an affiliated or associated company, your resume is given top priority; not necessarily because this indicates a better employee, but often because it reduces the costs involved in putting that candidate into the position.
- If the top ten applicants still produce no hirable candidates, a new search reveals new applicant profiles. Those that were in the first list are removed in the search criteria. New applicants will show up at their correct ranking on the list, which means that applicants on both lists do not necessarily move up the list in the new search. Some organizations create processes that modify these results, but don’t count on it.
- If you have a direct connect with the hiring manager, such as a referring partner, an email introduction with an invitation to contact them, or you have some other vouchsafe credential at your disposal, it is possible to intervene in the ongoing hiring process at key points along the way. The right approach, exercised at the right time, can expose process-avoiding, interview-producing opportunities that have a high potential for a positive outcome.
Extra Resume Enhancements
We hope the Preptel Resume Writer Guide has helped you create your very own winning resume! Still, if you’re having difficulty creating the resume that satisfies both your personal needs and employer requirements, here are a few things you may want to consider:
- Try using a different format. Different formats can be very useful for highlighting your talents and skills in the perfect way. Experiment. Be creative, but not rebellious; some style alterations and graphic enhancements might add the right element, but you don’t want to make the art on your resume more interesting than the person it represents. Of course, if you’re actually looking for a creative position where such innovative style is exactly what they’re looking for, the sky’s the limit. Just make sure your creative display doesn’t detract from your message, and make sure the format doesn’t put you out of the search engine screening game. If it does, you’ll need to have an alternate, intervening game plan for getting noticed in the application and interviewing process.
- Quality control-check your resume. Ask a friend to read your resume. Does it fit you? What did you forget? What other skills, qualities and characteristics does this person see in you that can be added as an enhancement or a weight factor to your resume?
- Many people have difficulty writing about themselves in a positive and market-savvy way. What sounds like boasting to the owner, might sound like music to the ears of a potential employer. Try to retain an arms-length perspective when you’re creating your personal resume work of art. If you check out the examples of keyword statements, you’ll see that most of them state a simple, complete feature or benefit. When you’re constructing your finished product resume, make sure that each statement holds up to the Guiding Formula format test.
- When you follow the Preptel Resume Guide, you’ll end up with a resume that accurately portrays you in your professional world. If you read your finished resume and it feels like it’s written for a stranger (it can happen!), resist the urge to rewrite your resume! Chances are, you’re looking for the wrong job, and just don’t know where to begin looking for the right one. Trying to jimmy yourself into a job or career category you thought you fit into has the makings of a career disaster. Instead, verify your resume keywords against other types of positions, and see what companies are doing with people like you. You might gain some valuable insight into a whole new career.
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