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How to Market Yourself Via Your Resume

July 16, 2008

This blog was written on March 31st, 2008.

Many of my friends and people I’ve recently met are currently job searching. I’ve had people ask me for advice on resumes, interviewing and ultimately landing the perfect job (I don’t have the million dollar answer, but I do have some tips!) When applying for a job, your number one priority is to sell your prospective employer on why you are the best candidate among hundreds, even thousands of applicants. This is a pretty hard sell!

I’ll start with the ever so necessary tool, the Resumé. Every employer asks for one but the average resumé doesn’t receive more than 10-15 seconds of attention. So this is why it’s crucial to make yours stand out. Most of my tips will sound so simple yet I guarantee over 95% of the applicants for your job are not doing this– hence the reason their resumé will get less than 15 seconds of attention and yours will be read in detail.

1. Get name of the decision maker and find a way to get your resumé directly into their hands. Most employers require you to submit an online application to a generic human resources email. Hundreds of people are doing this. While you must also do this, write a cover letter to the decision maker stating how you already submitted an online application but to make it more efficient for Miss/Mr. Employer and to save them the trouble of having to fish through hundreds of emails to find yours (since you understand how busy they are) you thought you’d be proactive and also deliver your resume directly. I would either hand deliver it to the receptionist in a sealed envelop with their name (make them open it to find out what it is) or I would send via snail mail with some sort of express mail envelop that makes it look urgent– again Miss/ Mr. Employer will have to open it.

2. Make sure your resumé is printed on resumé paper! Most people if submitting a hard copy resumé will print it on a regular sheet of printer paper. This will not stand out in a pile of hundreds. Resumé paper will stand out in the pile because it is thicker, a slightly different color and it looks more professional.

3. Keep your resumé to one page of paper. Please note this doesn’t mean you can’t have a two page resumé. Of course you can have two pages to sell yourself but instead of stapling on a second page that can easily get torn off, make your resume front/back sided so it’s only one sheet of paper. Indicate on the bottom of the first page (Page 1 of 2 Please See Reverse Side) so the person reading knows there’s more in the back.

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