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Resume Success Factors - What Exactly Is A Resume Anyway?

You know you're good... real good. The problem, though, is that you are struggling to demonstrate just how good you are on paper.

Ah... the resume. If you've ever written one you know what a challenging task it can be. The Gregg Reference Manual tells us some fundamental facts about resumes:

The purpose of your resume is to get you an employment meeting. An interview. Your resume will not get you a job.

Your resume is not a medium for telling prospective employers about your long-term goals and aspirations. It is where you appeal to their hiring motivations by demonstrating what you can do for them, communicating the experience you have acquired and skills you have developed.

With these basic concepts in mind, let's summarize several other elements that your contemporary resume must include:

R = Review of your qualifications
E = Essential information only
S = Showcase your value
U = You are Unique!
M = Market yourself
E = Effectively gets you noticed

R = Review of your qualifications

What skills, education, or experience (paid or unpaid) do you have that make you the ideal candidate for the opportunity, industry, or career you are pursuing? These data bits are the building blocks of any resume. They are absolute musts.

Most self-written resumes do a pretty decent job of listing skills and education, but fail miserably in the Experience section. More on how to address this challenge when we get to the "S" below.

E = Essential information only

Your resume should not be a voluminous listing of everything you have done, everywhere you have done it, and every club or association you've ever been affiliated with. Chisel your copy down to content that is relevant to your target job/career path.

Suppose you are a marketing professional. Your memberships in the American Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing Association, and the Public Relations Society of America belong on your resume.

Your memberships in the local dog trainers club and the American Dog Owners Associaiton can clearly be left off (unless you are applying for a marketing position with the Humane Society).

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