It’s only recently that I have personally taken advantage of DVR technology. Yes, I watched shows when they were on live AND sat through commercials. We didn’t even have cable (believe it), so using the VCR to record and replay shows wasn’t a good option – the reception was not good enough make it worthwhile.
So, when TV went digital and the converter box for those without cable didn’t give me access to ABC, it was time to enter this century. While I am not a huge TV watcher, I do enjoy certain shows, and being able to view them on my time – on the TV (not via the internet) was pretty cool. (Yes – this is career related – I’m getting there!)
It took me awhile to remember that I could fast-forward through commercials. I usually multitask while viewing, so stopping to skip the commercials actually interrupted my flow. I am getting in a groove, though. Skipping commercials and getting through my favorite shows in less time has become a ritual.
Sometimes, though, a commercial just grabs me before I have time to hit fast forward. In those cases, I actually catch myself watching the commercial. I was thinking about which commercials grab me and why. Usually, it is one of three reasons:
- There is a lot of color and/or it is very visually appealing,
- It is for a product or service I use or enjoy or
- It engages me with a story and I need to watch the whole thing to see what happens!
Since I now often watch with my hand on the remote, if I am going to actually watch a commercial, one of these three must happen right away.
Think about your resume. You have about the same amount of time to grab a person reading it as commercials have to get my attention. What are you doing to immediately attract attention?
While looks are not everything, they do mean a lot. Yes, often a resume goes through a computer scan first, but when a real person looks at it, it is important for it to be attractive, easy to read and up-to-date. If your resume looks like the BEFORE versions on my site, you really need to consider a revision. If you are using one of Word’s templates (they certainly did not consult a savvy resume writer for those) – you absolutely need to consider a change.
Did you know that you can even use a little COLOR in your resume? There are a lot of different ways you can visually grab attention – some that are more controversial than others. For example, some people use company logos on resumes. (This is not a practice I favor, but some really think it is great!) The bottom line is that you need an attractive resume if you want to compete.
Are you offering something the reader wants?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times – the resume must speak in the language that an employer will understand. If your targeted job requires someone who knows how to “develop proposals and presentations detailing new implementation process plans implemented by top management,” saying that you have done that is terrific! If the job has nothing to do with developing proposals and presentations, that language might as well be Greek to the hiring manager. Remember – simply stating your ability to do a particular task is not likely going to help your cause. Show, don’t tell.
And – do it in a way that immediately appeals to the reader.
Engage with a story
Just as a good story hook captures my attention when I watch TV, telling a good story on your resume – and in your job hunt – is important. It’s a good idea to think about stories – even collect them – to help improve your ability to catch their attention. Being able to tell your job search story is an incomparable skill. Do you know what you have to offer, and can you tell it in a way that interests people? In a way that makes them want to know more about you?
Learn how to share your story via social media, in person and via your resume. I can help!
photo by danielgreene