Improve Your Resume Results With These 5 P’s Of Resume Writing
By: Michelle Dumas
Are you struggling to get results in your job search, using a resume that just doesn’t seem to be working quite as hard for you as you hoped it would?
Related: 5 Must-Read Resume Writing Tips
You aren’t alone! I consult with frustrated job hunters in my resume writing services practice every day!
These 5 P’s of writing a resume will help you transform your resume to stand out, win the interview, and land the job you want.
The positioning and focus will be the foundation of your successful resume. You have mere seconds to capture your reader’s attention. The positioning of your resume must come across instantaneously, clearly answering for your prospective employer three key questions:
- Who are you?
- Where do you fit in my organization/company?
- Why do I care (will you solve my problems or meet my needs)?
Nothing will lose a busy employer’s attention faster than an unfocused and improperly positioned resume. Ask a friend or family member to quickly glance through your resume and answer the three key questions. If the answers don’t match your intentions, you have more work to do. You must get the positioning of your resume right.
Infusing your resume with your personal brand distinguishes you and sets you apart from the masses of other job seekers.
In the workplace, your brand is not just what sets you apart, but what makes your contributions different, special, and valuable. Your brand is what you are known for, or what you want to be known for. Emphasize these differentiating factors by writing an accomplishment-focused resume that showcases your brand in action.
Get this “P” right and your branded resume will rise to the top, stand out, and get attention.
You’ve heard it before. Your resume is a marketing document, and the purpose of that marketing document is to promote the ultimate “product” – YOU! You must write your resume so that it conveys a persuasive and compelling marketing pitch and unique value proposition (UVP).
The job market has changed. Employers used to ask, “Why should I hire you?” Today they ask “Why should I hire you instead of one of these other professionals among the hordes of qualified applicants?” The pitch you make in your resume provides them not only with the answer to that question, but with compelling evidence of your potential to deliver a strong return on their investment in hiring you – a stronger return than your competitors.
Your pitch and UVP should jump off the page at the reader. Begin with a power-packed summary of qualifications or profile section. Now carry that pitch throughout your resume, focusing on your brand-infused accomplishments and providing stories of success that illustrate how you have delivered value and benefits to past employers.
A few interesting and often-quoted statistics from a variety of sources clearly make the case for why the presentation of your resume—the visual design, formatting, and overall eye-appeal—is so important:
- Our brains process visuals 60,000X faster than text alone
- 65% of the population are visual learners
- Visuals have been shown to increase learning up to 400%
- Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour
Now consider that study after study have shown that recruiters spend only 6 to 30 seconds during the first review of a resume. Using selectively, appropriate design elements will enrich your resume and get it noticed in what is otherwise a stack of boring text-based resumes. The facts are irrefutable. Improving the presentation of your resume will make a huge difference in the results that it generates for you.
And last, but certainly not least, the final “P.”
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” We’ve all heard this saying, and it’s especially important in your job search, because a first impression is often a lasting impression. Even more significant, your resume is often your first and only chance to make a first impression on a potential employer.
Your resume must be error free. Create a great first impression and leave the potential employer with the professional image of you that you want it to leave. Anything less is unacceptable.
After 20 years of experience as a professional resume writer, I can assure you that by applying these 5 P’s of resume writing to your own resume, you will see your job search results skyrocket. But if you need more personal help and guidance, schedule a resume review with me. We’ll review the five P’s and go over your resume, point by point.
About the author
Michelle Dumas founded Distinctive Career Services, LLC (formerly Distinctive Documents) in 1996, one of the Internet’s longest-standing resume writing, personal branding, and career marketing firms. As one of only a handful of multiple certified professional resume writers, including the prestigious NCRW, CPRW, CPBS, CEIP, and JCTC credentials, Michelle is widely respected as an authority in the resume writing and employment services industries.