If you’re a job seeker, you’re probably a little dismayed at the current unemployment rate of 13.3%. Still, it’s going down, and that’s a plus. But that’s just one resume you need to market yourself through your job search. And just like marketing a product, you need to share your hook: your resume value proposition. Without it, you could be missing opportunities.
Where to Share Your Resume Value Proposition
It could be argued that your entire resume is one big value proposition (if well written), but there are specific areas where you should highlight why you’re so awesome. These are the title, summary, and accomplishments.
First, of course, you’ll have to ask yourself if you even have these three areas on your resume. To be honest, most job seekers don’t.
If you used a resume template you found online, it more than likely includes a laundry list of bullets to share information. It could also have space for an objective and have no place for a summary. Those are your indicators that you are using an outdated document—and another reason most professional resume writers don't use templates.
Craft a Title That Draws Attention
Old-school resumes start with an objective. That goes something like: “To obtain a position in which I can…” It’s all about you and may not even say what you’re looking for.
Well-written resumes lead into the document with a title or headline. At the very minimum, this title be the position you’re seeking. It is who you are moving forward, not who you are at the moment (or even the position you currently have).
You can elevate your title with a value statement that differentiates you even more. Consider how this lead-in to your resume could help you stand out:
Vice President, Marketing
Strategic and visionary leader who puts clients first
Engage Readers with a Well-written Summary
Directly following your title is where you have the real opportunity to drive home your resume value proposition: your summary. At its essence, this is the answer to the question, “Why should I hire you?” Too many resumes have what used to be called “highlights of qualifications.” In such a statement, you might have 3 bullets with years of experience and some skills you have. And that doesn’t adequately answer the question.
Your summary is one of the first things the reader will see—and read—so it should be to the point and full of value:
Creative visionary who offers advertising agency experience driving results for national and global clients by building and launching campaigns that incorporate traditional and digital marketing approaches. Integrate analytics to ensure goals are met and ROI is high while pushing the envelope and keeping clients front and center in a competitive landscape. As an executive leader, build, develop, and shepherd teams to excel by focusing on individual strengths and talents.
Share Your Value in Accomplishments
When you get into the meat of your resume—your professional experience—remember to keep your focus on value. Too often, job seekers start strong and then finish with a list of everything they’ve done at all of the positions they’ve had. Unfortunately, this leaves readers wanting more.
In addition to sharing what you did, focus more on what you accomplished. This includes how you made the company money, saved the company money, improved processes or systems, or made people happy.
When writing accomplishments, take heed: Remember that precious few employers will read every word on your resume. Instead, they take just a few moments (6 seconds, according to a study by The Ladders) to scan the highlights. And they spend even less time on self-written resumes, for the record. The same study discovered that resumes written by job seekers, which are often long and jumbled, earned just a 3.9-second read, as compared with 6.2 seconds for an organized, professionally written resume. That means your information needs to jump off the page and draw the reader in.
If Your Resume Doesn’t Hit the Mark
In all likelihood, unless you’ve done a lot of research on the current best practices in writing your resume value proposition, it’s falling short. Let’s face it: Most people don’t write a resume very often, perhaps just once or twice a decade. And if the last time you updated your resume was 10 or more years ago, it’s likely lacking the punch needed to attract employers’ attention in today’s job market.
This is precisely why professional resume writers have jobs.
Investing hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars on a professional resume writer might seem exorbitant, but when it nearly doubles your chances of your resume being read, it could definitely be worth the investment. A professional knows what questions to ask to learn about your resume value proposition, as well as how to share it on paper. Smart people outsource. And if you want to elevate your job search, you may want to follow suit.
PS: A Word on ATS
In today’s market, your resume needs to be written for applicant tracking systems (ATS). The vast majority of companies receive resumes through such an ATS instead of having people review them. If you don’t have the correct keywords on your resume, it might never be seen. Plus, when a resume is overly formatted, it may not be scannable, which means it also won’t be seen.
This is just another reason to hire a Phoenix resume writer.
Remember, we always provide free resume reviews. Email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org.