I find it hard to sell myself.
I know I’m good at what I do, but sales – it’s just not me.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this from candidates, highly accomplished individuals who have been paid handsomely to do what they do! However when they find themselves looking for a new role whether because of redundancy or choice they find it hard to sell themselves in their resume, LinkedIn profile and in an interview.
Today I want to focus on selling yourself in your resume. I’ve been reviewing a substantial number of senior finance resumes today and in general I have to HUNT for information about what the candidates have done in their past roles. Candidates have a tendency to think a recruiter wants to read their position description.
I don’t want a position description. I want to quickly and easily understand from your resume why you are the best candidate for the job.
I don’t want a list of your strengths nor do I want to have to go on google to understand who you have been working for as I’ve never heard of your company before. Sorry this is my rant!
A resume is your sales brochure.
It’s the first stage in the recruitment process. If you don’t sell yourself and demonstrate why you are great at what you do you won’t make it to the next stage.
So what should your resume include to ensure you have the best chance of being considered for the job of your dreams?
1. A Career summary that sells your story. In 2 to 3 paragraphs include
- Years of experience
- Specialty area, industry/s
- Job title i.e: Senior Executive with over 15 years leading finance teams as a General Manager Finance and for the last 5 years as Chief Financial Officer with abc company.
- Mention brand name companies that you have worked with
- Mention size of budget/ revenue that you have had responsibility for and the size of teams you have led
- Incorporate your strengths
- Highlight a “career achievement” that you “hang your hat on” that will demonstrate why you are good at your job
- Note your qualifications and awards
2. On your front page include 4-6 quantifiable career achievements that really demonstrate why you are a great leader. Choose the achievements that you really hang your hat on! Where you can use words like Increased, Decreased, Transformed, Grew, Developed, Initiated etc it makes for powerful statements. As you are selling yourself for a job, choose your achievements that align with what the job advertisement is asking for.
Now hopefully your front page is really selling you. Next under your career experience include:
- A short statement about each company you have worked for, take it from the “About Us” page. Also include the website url which will allow the reader to explore further if they don’t know the company.
- Write a short paragraph about what your role involved and then include at least three quantifiable achievements for every job.
Hopefully you now understand what I mean when I say, “sell me don’t tell me.” If you tell a story that demonstrates why you are great then you will have a stronger chance of getting to the next stage.
“If you don’t sell yourself then someone else will and they will get the job of YOUR dreams!”
Fiona Cochran is an Executive Recruiter and Executive Career Coach with over 15 years experience. Fiona regularly coaches executive candidates to achieve job of choice with employer of choice. Alongside business partner Richard Triggs she is conducting a one day career workshop for leaders and board members who want to stand out from the crowd and accelerate their opportunity to have a new career in 2017. CLICK HERE for more information.