Anyone who has bought a car knows the difference between a good and bad salesperson. Good salespeople will show you the special parts of the car that mean the most to you at that time, AND find a way to make each feature seem like it was added with your needs in mind. Resumes are the written ‘what’s in it for the employer’, so these people shouldn’t need resume writing help, because they work each day explaining benefits to prospective buyers.
Keep it simple, salesperson (KISS)
Whether you are a salesperson or not, the key to effective resume writing is to keep the content simple and impactful to the reader. This doesn’t mean that only monosyllabic words can be used. Depending on your industry, complex phrasing or technical references may be the best way to communicate the skills you will bring to the position. Avoiding rambling content that would be classified as a job description will help the hiring manager evaluate your abilities faster.
Salespeople who love their jobs tend to be emotionally passionate about the products they sell. Emotions need to be kept out of the resume writing process though. Explaining your skills and experiences in a resume should include just the facts without the fluff. Putting information about numerical values and results is important, but be careful not to use adjectives like ‘superb’, ‘superior’, or ‘outstanding’ just to make the numbers seem bigger or fancier.
Focus on the buyer, not the product
Resumes that get into the ‘yes’ pile quickly are written with a focus on the buyer – the prospective employer. Just as a good salesperson can figure out what is most important to you in buying a car, a well written resume will include content about skills and experiences that are needed for that particular position. Reading the job description and then writing a targeted resume with keywords and information about relevant results will put your resume ahead of the competition.
Needs first, then benefits
Even if you think your greatest strength is the ability to collaborate in teams, if that isn’t a primary responsibility for the job, you shouldn’t make that a central part of your resume. As you read the job description, look for the needs the job is going to fill within that department. Write a resume that explains what you have done in the past that used skills to meet needs like those.
Help me help you
Picture Tom Cruise talking to Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire. Ultimately, Tom wanted to find common ground for both of them to be successful. Isn’t that what you are proposing to an employer in your resume? Your resume should speak to the reader and say ‘this is what I can do for you’. Taking the viewpoint of a good salesperson, representing yourself as the product with skills that benefit the position, could be all the resume writing help you need.
- It’s midnight and I’m building a resume, where do I start? (helpyourcareer.org)
- Job Adverts Targeted with Tailor-made Resumes (prweb.com)