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Doing a Self-Inventory on Your Resume for the New Work World

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By Mary Ann Faremouth,

The First Step of the Faremouth Method, “Do a Self-Inventory,” has always been the foundation of my method of recruiting. However, these days, with all the changes in the work world that Covid-19 has brought to us, this step is even more important. It’s specifically  important as to how we proceed in presenting our skillset on the resume to a prospective employer.  The information I am about to share with you comes from resumes I have submitted to my clients in the past few months, and what they are telling me is crucial during these times.

 

If I had to summarize in a very simple way, the message you need to keep in mind when  redoing your resume is this:  Your resume needs to reflect more about how your skills can make a contribution to this “New Work World,” as opposed to what you have accomplished in the past.  It needs to demonstrate going from a “Me” focus to a “We” focus.  In other words, in this new work world, employers will need to emerge stronger and win with a staff with the skills that can help them succeed. That means if you want to get hired in the current job market, your resume needs to highlight certain traits and abilities including the five below: 

 

  1. Understand the Job Description

One of the most important steps you can take when creating or updating a resume is to review the job description for the positions you’re applying for.  Doing so can help you understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate, and therefore tailor your resume to prioritize and emphasize those skills, qualities and experiences.  Look for KEY WORDS under sections such as “key skills” and “qualifications.”  Place those that align with your background towards the top of your resume so it is easy for employers to find. Skillfully also include other keywords throughout your resume, including your professional experience, education and skills sections.

      

  1. Clearly Demonstrate Your Impact as it Relates to the Job

In these competitive times, it is especially important that you draw clear lines from your previous achievements to the job you’re applying for. The easier you can demonstrate to prospective employers the impact you can make in the position, the more likely you are to stand out in the many resumes they are receiving. For example, if you were a Manager in a high-end restaurant, you should explain how you can use these skills in a variety of industries to show perhaps how it’s beneficial to a remote position. 

 

For example, your professional experience section may look something like this:

  • Trained and mentored over 25 servers and kept complex spreadsheets on performance to improve customer satisfaction by continuously planning and implementing service rewards to keep reservations up and restaurant full to capacity. This demonstrates your familiarity with spreadsheets (technology) as well as leading a group of employees to become successful.  It also demonstrates transferable skills that might be very necessary in the New Work World.
  • One of the most important keys to a great resume is to double check for any typographical errors. Your resume must be perfect.  Any spelling errors will show the prospective employer a lack of attention to detail which can cost you the job.

 

  1. Make Your Resume Easy to Read

 Research has outlined that employers only have six seconds to review each resume. 

 With this time constraint, it’s critical that they are able to find important information quickly.

    

Many of my clients have told me a resume that is too wordy or complex is a red flag to them that the candidate is trying to expand knowledge they may not have.  The less     wordy the resume, the better.  To make sure they can find key information quickly, make sure your resume is formatted correctly in the following ways:

 

  • Keep the resume to one page, or at the most, two pages.
  • Select a plain and professional font such as Arial or Helvetica
  • Make your font size 10-12 points if possible (too small may be hard to read)
  • Do not put pictures on the resumes (Many of my clients have rejected candidates with pictures on the resumes)

 

  1.  Review your Resume Format and Adjust if Necessary
  • If you are a recent college grad with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, this should be at top of resume
  • Make your objective more about how you can make a contribution to this employer as opposed to what you have accomplished.   For example: Hard-working Liberal Arts

Graduate and Retail Buyer with advanced communication skills seeking to expand my knowledge of the industry with online retail jobs in the current market. Or, it could say: Highly organized medical clinic office administrator with five years experience maintaining complex spreadsheet, patient schedules and office workflows.

 

  1. Demonstrate How You Have Made a Major Contribution to the success of your company.

My clients who have hired sales candidates always prefer a quantitative demonstration of how the person has increased profits.  For example, it could say:

  • Increased sales in a down market 25%
  • Expanded current product line to be able to cross-sell to current and future clients
  • Developed proposal to cut costs and increased profits by 40% across the board

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic has undoubtedly introduced a great number of new challenges to society all over the world.  These challenges may also force us to have a better Work World, a stronger understanding of what it means to be human, and more of focus on the “We” instead of the “Me.”  This may force the work world to move more towards a remote work environment working independently or as part of a remote team.  The employer needs to see which candidates are capable of these type environments to get the results they are looking for.   

 

As Winston Churchill said it so well:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

 

My name is Mary Ann Faremouth.  I am the Author of Revolutionary Recruiting and soon to be out “Revolutionary Alignment.”

According to Faremouth’s company website, “Mary Ann is the founder and CEO of Faremouth and Company. As a leader in the national recruiting community and a placement specialist since 1982, Mary Ann knows what it takes to get the job done. She is 2016 President of Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group, is a member of the NASPD, NAPCA, the National Association of Personnel Consultants, and is also a highly regarded speaker and writer. Her articles can be found in various industry related publications. She founded Jobs: Houston Magazine in 1997, one of the most popular employment magazines in Texas for over 7 years.”  She is the author of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning book Revolutionary Recruiting

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