By: Linda Matias
Ditching your current resume and starting from scratch is sometimes necessary. Especially when you aren’t receiving any responses or the responses you are receiving are for positions you aren’t interested in. Most jobseekers fall into the trap of revising the existing information when what they should be doing is opening up a new Word document and writing the resume from the ground up.
The reason for this is simple: when you have a resume that has failed, tweaking a sentence here or there and / or changing your bullets from a circle to a square isn’t going to work in your favor. Those are cosmetic revisions that are not touching upon the reason you’re not getting interviews. So pull the plug on your resume and start anew with these tips.
• Stop reading resume samples on the web. The more you focus on what others are doing, the less creative and the more watered down your resume becomes. In addition, the resume samples online don’t come with the background story. Meaning each resume is written with a specific purpose in mind and it’s designed to minimize a specific jobseeker’s challenges.
You have your own baggage, your own obstacles to overcome and you need a strategy that is best for you. Start by writing the resume you want to send, with the words you want to use, and give that resume a test run. You have nothing to lose since your existing resume isn’t generating the leads you hoped for. A fresh approach is necessary, and job searching on your own terms seems like a good place to start as any.
• Truly highlight what you offer, don’t hijack other people’s qualities. Use care in choosing words that reflect your professionalism and background. Sprinkling in words that don’t define who you are will make your resume suspect. As an example, many jobseekers use the word “loyal” in their resume, but a quick read of the resume reveals they held three jobs in the last five years.
This is a red flag for the human resource manager, not simply because of the job hopper image, but also because the jobseeker doesn’t take enough care to write a resume that speaks to who they are. Instead, they choose to put together a resume with language they think the human resource manager wants to hear.
The lesson here is to highlight who you are, and never focus on who you think you should be. Human resource managers will respond more readily to a resume that sounds true than one that has the language thrown in just for the sake of it.
• Write more than one version. If you’re unsure of the resume layout that best suits you, design more than one and give each a test drive. Keep in mind your resume is a marketing tool and marketing executives always test what works and doesn’t work before they go full throttle on a campaign. Follow in their footsteps by creating two versions of your resume, and sit back while waiting to see which version gets the best results.
Starting from scratch can be intimidating, especially when staring at a blank page. But as mentioned earlier, sometimes there isn’t a way around it. The resume is your lifeline to a new position, and if it’s not generating the opportunities you seek, then it’s time to put that baby to bed and wow human resource representatives with an entirely new approach.