Resume Awesomeness (Get Hired, Any Job – Pt 2)

Get ready for Resume Awesomeness! This is the second part of a series that shows you how to get ANY JOB. In the last installment we made the outrageous (but true) claim that EVERYONE has a bad resume. Okay, almost everyone!  But it is so rare that chances are you have never seen a good resume. The problem is that people barely put any RESUME AWESOMENESS into their rez. This is usually because they don’t understand the purpose of the resume. Let’s fix both problems.Resume Awesomeness? If Your Resume is Boring They Think You are Boring

Part 2 – Purpose: Resume Awesomeness

The purpose of your resume is NOT to make you look qualified for the desired position. There will likely be many qualified applicants so clearly being qualified doesn’t get you the job.  The purpose of your resume IS to show how you are the MOST AWESOME candidate. Your resume is meant to show not just that you are the best applicant, but that you are the MOST AWESOME candidate they WILL MEET for this position.  Otherwise they will keep looking.  If you don’t think you are the absolute best person to hire then there is little chance of convincing a total stranger of the same.  Now we are not selling copies of “The Secret” here. We are not talking about fluff or “demanding from the universe” or other such nonsense. We ARE saying you need to give some thought to why you are awesome and splash that onto your resume.

Not sure why or how you are awesome? The BEST place to mine for examples of how awesome you are: past emails, letters or other accolades you have received from previous clients, employers or co-workers. I wouldn’t be mining from past co-workers unless you couldn’t find enough documented kudos from past clients or bosses.  Let’s consider some examples of kudos and where to find them (after we will explain where to use this within your resume):

  • Obviously, if a previous employer has provided a letter of reference then that should say how awesome you are.
  • Did you work in customer service or were you ever client facing? If so, try and see if any of them sent you an email (or better yet sent your superior a note) thanking or praising you for your help. I treasure those messages like the gold they are.  So should you.  I have a letter from a client a saying that I was “nothing but ‘pro’ since day one“.  One referred to me as a “top notch professional“.  Another pointed out: “you guided us to resolution in one hour after we struggled for weeks with it on our own” and “because of your help, my confidence in your company’s professional services are greatly increased” (#humblebrag over now). If you don’t have any of this, consider asking contacts (that you are on good terms with) to send you something.  If needed you could even put some copy together for them and ask them if they would feel comfortable sending that to you as their own words.
  • If you were positively written about in a local paper or blog.
  • One area that gets overlooked are employee evaluation reviews.  If you have a copy of a past evaluation, comb through it because there are likely some nice quotes about you therein.  Any quotes like “excels in customer service”, “high customer satisfaction rate”, “your efforts ensured that the project deadline was not missed” are all golden.

Do NOT Objectify Your Resume

Once you have accumulated your accolades (or kudos) you can pull out the most flattering quotes and use them in the first section of your resume. I never understood why people start a resume with their objective.  That is not resume awesomeness.  Everyone with an IQ above 82 knows that your objective is to get a job (duh).  Check out how much more awesome it is to start your resume with Kudos like in the “Some Lady” example below:

Some Lady Resume Awesomeness Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While your competition is starting their resumes with “Duh ya know my objective is to, uh, get like a job and stuff”, you are laying down some contact information and jumping right into why you are awesome.  And how can the hiring manager know you are awesome? Because a sampling of clients and bosses said you were awesome! Not only that, but you were smart enough not to waste his or her time and got right to it. Remember the only 2 things allowed on a resume are 1) Why you are awesome and 2) contact information.

Now it is VERY IMPORTANT that you include the line “Documentation Available Upon Interview” exactly as you see it written. Your brain will want to write “Upon Request” but that is NOT the same thing.

Sure references are available upon request, but if they want to see your letters from people raving about you they will need to get you in that interview room.  You need to keep your powder dry when it comes to the kudos letters.  Remember, “Upon Interview” only.  By the end of this series you will see why.  For now just trust me that this piece of resume awesomeness will lead to interview awesomeness.

As you can see, starting a resume with quotes from others about you is extremely powerful.  That said, there is a lot of awesome you will need to put in your resume for which you don’t have a direct quote (#CaptainPicardFacePalm).  How can we handle the rest of our resume awesomeness?

Think Like a Baseball Club Owner

Look, I’m really not into sports so no need to brace yourself for a long sports analogy.  But just imagine if you owned the Yankees and an agent calls you up.  The agent says “I have a hitter who was responsible for second base for the Cardinals for 2 years. Before that he was part of a team that played in the American League”… snooze, boring!!!  Being told the hitter was responsible for second base tells you NOTHING that suggests he was any good.  And “part of a team” is a term you want to avoid… the employer isn’t hiring a team.  If you squander his or her precious attention talking about the “team” they aren’t going to hire you either.

Instead, focus on YOUR personal home runs, your “batting average” so to speak.  Don’t say you were “responsible” for something, say what RESULTS you delivered.  You either fixed something that was broken, brought in more revenue than was expected, made something run x% less costly, had such and such % of satisfied clients which was n% more than usual… got it?

Some jobs don’t lend themselves to stats so you might have to get creative.  I mentored one woman who couldn’t think of anything so I asked her how many clients she had worked with during her time at a job; then asked her how many of them went on to give her company more business.  That became her repeat customer rate. Then I asked how many complained about her or the services she provided.  We calculated what percent that was and, more importantly, what percent did not complain and that became her employee satisfaction rate.  Bottom line is that for anything you write in your resume: think about how it says you’re awesome.  And nothing says resume awesomeness like RESULTS.  Take a look at some examples:

 Resume Awesomeness means focuing on RESULTS not what you were "Responsible for" (SNOOZE!)

Think Like a Baseball Team Owner. Show Results (Home Runs) not “responsible for”.

 

By the way it is no accident that every time you see me say RESULTS it is in bold and underlined.  That is exactly how you should do it in your resume.  For each thing you say you did (which should be something awesome by itself) you need to follow it up with “Result:” and then explain, in as hard of terms as possible, the AWESOME RESULTS.

You getting the pattern? Getting the theme we are sticking with?  Anyone that meets you thinks your awesome (hence the kudos that opened your resume); you only include awesome stuff you did and then talk about the awesome RESULTS.  The next article we will cover even more RESUME AWESOMENESS and show you how to use MS Word layout options to SELL YOURSELF like a boss, so stay tuned.

About JordanKaufman

Jordan Kaufman is author of Blender Meets Python (and several other technical volumes) and has been the ghostwriter for multiple other non-technical books. He has spent the last 18 years as a technology consultant holding his first tech job at 14 years of age.