Medium 9781593575700

30-Minute Resume Makeover

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Professional resume writer Louise Kursmark shows you how to add your newest job and accomplishments, make the formatting sparkle, emphasize your accomplishments, convert your resume for use on the Internet, communicate your personal brand, and much more.

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Chapter 1: Resume Diagnosis

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Resume Diagnosis

Consider the vast changes that have taken place in the world of work in the last decade or so:

• The rise of a global economy, where job seekers as well as companies must compete beyond their local markets

• The emergence of the Internet as an immediate, always-available source for job information

• The birth of Web 2.0 interactive career sites offering customized applications and immediate feedback to Web-surfing candidates

• The growth of a mobile workforce, happy to jump to a new assignment, new job, or new company as opportunities ebb and flow

Yet in this constantly shifting environment, that sturdy old standby, the resume, remains a primary tool for securing a new job.

But that doesn’t mean you can produce a bland, traditional, “same-old” resume and expect to get results. Given the fast pace of today’s information economy and the ease of applying to multiple jobs simultaneously, your resume must do more than simply list your work history, job duties, and educational credentials. To distinguish you from the crowed, your resume must make your strongest “selling points” instantly evident to employers and recruiters—not to mention automated resume scanners.

 

Chapter 2: Resume Repair: The 30-Minute Resume Makeover

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Resume Repair: The 30-Minute Resume Makeover

Now that you know where your resume needs to be strengthened, this chapter tells you and shows you how to do it through detailed explanations of each of the 30-Minute Makeover Strategies.

To achieve a noticeable improvement in your resume for each 30 minutes you spend, look at your Resume Report Card in chapter 1 and identify where you need the most improvement. A good tactic is to give top priority to those areas where you scored the lowest and move on to your mid-level and higher grades as you have time.

Another approach would be to quickly spiff up the sections where you earned B grades, then plunge in-depth into the areas where your resume needs more serious help.

If your time is extremely limited and you have to choose just one area to tackle, I recommend that you focus on Strategy #3: Emphasize Experience and Accomplishments. Your accomplishments are the jewels of your resume. They are most valued by employers and they are distinctly yours. Make them shine to gain the biggest payback from your Resume Makeover.

 

Chapter 3: Proofread and Polish to Perfection

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Proofread and Polish to Perfection

With the hard work of writing the first-draft copy of your resume complete, it’s time to polish that rough gem into a shining jewel. In this chapter I lay out a process that you can follow to improve both the content and the appearance of your final resume. I recommend that you go through the entire process at least twice, continuing to refine the document until it is practically perfect.

In this chapter you’ll also find step-by-step instructions for converting your resume to the text-only format you’ll need for electronic applications.

If you took my recommendation at the end of chapter 2, you put your resume away to “breathe” for a short while before beginning to proofread and polish. It’s amazing how even a brief absence makes your eye and ear sharper, so you’ll be able to find errors, inconsistencies, and awkward language on a quick read-through. Follow these steps to ensure your resume is on target:

1. Revisit your current career goal so that it is fresh in your mind.

 

Chapter 4: Before-and-After Resume Transformations

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Before-and-After Resume Transformations

Sure, it’s helpful to look at a gallery of great resumes as you work on your 30-Minute Resume Makeover. But sometimes it’s even more beneficial to compare, side by side, before-and-after versions of the same resume so you can see what a difference strategy, format, and content make in changing a resume from ineffective to effective.

In this chapter I share with you 18 resume makeovers, as executed by professional resume writers, all recent graduates of the Resume Writing Academy. In the narrative that accompanies each set of resumes, you can read about the specific challenges faced by the writer and how she addressed them. What’s more, you’ll see how each of the five Resume Makeover Strategies is applied to make the “after” version a compelling and effective document that supports the objectives of that particular job seeker.

Resume Writer:

Ilona Vanderwoude, CPRW, CCMC, CEIP, CJST
Career Branches
P.O. Box 330
Riverdale, NY 10471
Phone: (718) 884-2213
E-mail: ilona@CareerBranches.com
www.CareerBranches.com

 

Chapter 5: Create a Killer Cover Letter

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Create a Killer Cover Letter

Because cover letters are such an important part of your job search, I didn’t want to omit them from this book. However, the topic is extensive—in fact, I have written two complete books on cover letters! Much of the advice in this brief chapter is excerpted from my companion book in the “Help in a Hurry” series—15-Minute Cover Letter. I encourage you to pick up that book or the more in-depth Cover Letter Magic if you’d like additional ideas and assistance with your cover letters.

First, understand that you will need some kind of covering note with every resume you send—whether filling out an online application, e-mailing your resume in response to a job ad, reaching out to your network, following up on a referral, or cold-calling potential employers. All of these communications can be called “cover letters,” but obviously you would write a much different note to a close friend or a business colleague than you would to an employer whose name you don’t even know.

 

Chapter 6: Find a Job Fast

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Find a Job Fast

The best resume in the world does no good if it sits in a drawer or on a computer hard drive. No, you’ve got to put that resume out into the world, accompanied by a killer cover letter and a carefully planned strategy for finding the right opportunities.

This chapter provides a quick overview of the most effective job search activities. After all, it only makes sense to spend your time and energy on the efforts that will give you the best and the quickest results.

The single smartest strategy to pursue in looking for a new job is to pursue many different avenues. You never know where your next job is going to come from! You can find statistics about how most people find jobs, but that doesn’t mean your transition is going to be like most people’s. Also, there is no specific A-to-Z path you can follow to your next job. The more lines you have in the water, the better chance you have of catching a fish.

So let’s examine five diverse avenues and how you can best use them to learn about job opportunities:

 

Appendix: Resume Development Worksheet

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