The "Interviewable" Resume
by Linda Matias of www.careerstrides.com
Rumor has it that the only word William Shakespeare wrote
on his resume was "Available." We’ll probably never know if that is
true. But it raises an interesting question. How much information is too much
and how much is too little when dealing with resume copy?
The resume is a vital piece to any job search. As
companies scramble to find the ideal candidate, they use the resume to screen
candidates. Done right, a resume builds an instant connection with the reader
and helps steer the course of the interview in your favor. If you submit a
resume that piques the curiosity of the reader, he or she most likely will ask
questions based on the information you provided on the resume as opposed to
relying on a pre-packaged questionnaire. That’s how you know you have an
"interviewable" resume, when it assists in shaping the course of the
The challenge is, "How do I create an "interviewable"
resume--one that isn’t boring or sterile? How do I write a resume that
motivates the reader to give me a call?"
Write with the employer in mind
Cast aside the belief that the resume is about
you--because it isn’t. Though the resume is your "story," the heart
of it should focus on the needs of the employer. When developing your resume
give thought to the person who will be reading it. What are his or her immediate
concerns? How will you be able to solve that person’s problems?
Though it may be difficult to pin down a company’s
immediate concerns before an interview, the reality is that organizations
recruit candidates for one of the following reasons: they need to replace an
unproductive employee, a peak performer was promoted or left, or a new position
has been created. A recruiter usually searches for a candidate who will produce
certain results, is a skilled communicator, and has a strong work ethic. If you
are able to target your resume toward these key areas, you will--without a
doubt--tap into the organization’s concerns.
Choose your phrases carefully
Sentence starters and appropriate use of action words all
determine whether the resume is "interviewable." Instead of using
predictable phrases, think of ways to add punch to your resume. For example:
- Instead of using increased sales by 250% ... write
delivered a 250% increase in sales ...
- Instead of using ability to effectively ... write
demonstrated ability to effectively ...
- Instead of using reduced costs ... write slashed costs.
When your resume doesn’t "sound" like all the
others on the recruiter’s desk, he or she will take notice. You will be
remembered when your resume breaks the monotony of the recruiter’s day.
Have a consistent message
Don’t try to become all things to all people. If you are
a CEO, don’t add a statement that indicates that you are willing to be a
Business Manger. If you are a Sales Manager, don’t indicate that you are
willing to take on a position as a Customer Service Representative. Get the
picture? Determine what you are selling (and looking for) before you put one
word to paper.
Determine your major selling points
Though you may share the same job title with many other
people, your accomplishments and how you carry out your responsibilities are
what distinguishes you from all the other qualified candidates. Focus your
resume on not only what you did but also how well you did it. By design, what
makes you interviewable is how you market your strengths on paper.
About the author
Certified in all three areas of the job search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC),
Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda
Matias is qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a
complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance. She is
also the author of "How to Say It: Job Interviews" (Prentice Hall, August 2007).
You can contact Linda Matias at linda @ careerstrides.com or visit her Website
for additional career advice and to view resume samples.