How to Write a Successful Resume and Win the Interview

{Click here to read the original article on Huffington Post.}

Have you ever felt that writing a resume is like doing your taxes?

You’ll do anything to avoid it.

Change the drudgery mindset immediately and have some fun — simply tell the truth about who you are. List the rich facts about your original, talented self.

I’ve seen thousands of resumes in my career as a recruiter and the ones that always caught my eye were unique and fresh. They reeked of confidence and achievements and made me pick up the phone and get the person right in.

Writing your resume is an opportunity for you to tell your story – who you are and what you do — so your future boss immediately buys into you.

The same is true for Cover Letters, and creating instant attention to assist you in getting hired.

Your resume will make people like you with your words and work.

Here are 4 crucial points how to write a successful resume and win the interview.

1. Don’t be Generic

The formatting or template for your resume is pretty standard — Company name and location, your title and dates of employment. (Not just years but months too.)

  • See each job you worked at as a headline, and then fill in the rest.
  • Be spontaneous and don’t judge what you’re writing.
  • The goal is to get it down on paper.
  • List what you do, your accomplishments and abilities.
  • Don’t worry about the style. You’ll send it to a resume expert, who will make it look beautiful.
  • One to two pages max. Simple. Clean lines. Easy to read.

What makes it a poor resume is not being original, not thinking with your mind and heart, using standard, boring buzz words that kill interest…’Managed…
responsible for…played a key role…trained and supervised.’

I’m not saying don’t use these words but, use them once and then change it up and find other adjectives and synonyms to express your job importance.

One client I work with is the decision maker for all financial awards at his firm. On his resume he calls himself – The Caretaker of Finances.

Every job posted has its specifics and you will want to adapt yourself accordingly, so you’re seen as a vital, relevant candidate for the open job.

Don’t re-write your resume for every single opening, merely add in required skills, highlight your accomplishments, shaping it to the company’s sight and requirements. It’s a little like figuring out what to wear to an interview because you want to make a good impression. It’s being what they want and also being who you truly are; helping them see your value.

Yes. It takes work to find work, but that’s the key. What are you willing to do to get the interview and land the job you want?

When you really want something, the work you do empowers you. You never mind how long or hard you work at something you desire and really want to achieve and, you also have a good time because you’re going after getting what you want. You’re fulfilling your vision and helping to make it real.

2. Take Command and Take Advantage Too

Your summary is the first thing a perspective employer sees. It’s the jewel that opens your resume. Take full advantage of it. Exploit the space.

  • Entice people with your experience, achievements and ambitions. Hook them instantly.
  • This is the place to be precise, creative and clear about what you want.
  • Express your career goals and aspirations.

I’m always attracted to summary statements where people are not afraid to ask for what they want and then tell you why. It’s commanding.

Many people miss this opportunity or back away from shining their light. Go ahead. Dazzle them!

There is nothing wrong with a healthy, up front expression of your worth and it’s damn interesting. This is your time to take charge because this is where leadership shows.

Try this:

  • Write out a 200 word summary.
  • Then make it into a simple paragraph.
  • Then 2 sentences.
  • And finally, one word.

This will give you direction, specificity and confidence in your resume summary.

3. Take Risks, Be Bold, Be Memorable

These days about 90% of all applications are done on line. What will you do with that statistic?

  • Will it discourage or inspire you?
  • How will you go beyond that process, get around it and add to it?
  • What are you willing to do to be noticed…and remembered?
  • What risks are you willing to take to have a company discover you?
  • Trust yourself. You have nothing to lose and all to gain by trying new things.

As an outside sales rep, for many years, I had no fear hand delivering my proposals. It gave me a chance to visit the location, to observe the tenants and clients coming and going, to feel the atmosphere, then to meet the receptionist and build a relationship with him or her, (one of the most significant people in the firm) and most importantly, to have the perspective client know just how serious I was about earning their business.

Why not hand-deliver your resume, your proposal of hire? Include a passionate and reasoned note about why you’re doing this –

“I wanted you to know my sincere, deep desire to do this job and be part of your team. It’s that crucial to me and that is why I chose to hand-deliver my resume. I’m eager to meet and talk with you about the benefits of us working together.”

That kind of drive, imagination, innovation and confidence…the *this is what I want* attitude, always sparked my interest and showed me a lot about a person’s values and self-esteem.

And, if you’re really willing to take a risk, ask if the person hiring is available to speak for a couple of minutes.

If he or she doesn’t like it, then maybe it’s not the place for you. Trust me, the right people will take notice of your ingenuity and remember you. That’s what matters.

4. Promote Yourself

Your achievements and accomplishments are what employers are looking for most. Don’t be faint and unclear.

People want to see what value you have and how it will enhance their company. From filing clerks to executive directors, everyone has specific contributions, statistics, recommendations, qualifications, numbers and revenue to show their success. Tell what it is. Let people know. Promote your assets. Employers are intensely interested.

When’s the best time to start promoting your worth? Right now!

Your resume is waiting for you, leading you to your future success.

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