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Day 4 – the 12 Days of Christmas Job Hunting

Day 4

 

On the 4th Day of Christmas — Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters revealed to me:

4 resumes – Guerrillaized

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional
  3. Value Based
  4. A special 1-page eXtreme Makeover resume

 

 

Now there’s a lot more to landing your dream job than writing a simple resume.  But you know what?  That’s what employers typically see first and their decision to interview you [or not] is often made in the blink of an eye. 

 

Here’s the basic challenge: most resumes look and read the same and quite frankly they’re quite boring.  They are generic in their writing and approach, even thought each candidate claims to be “special”, “dynamic”, “creative”, and a host of other superlatives.  You don’t need to tell your reader this.   You must demonstrate it. 

 

Your resume is a marketing tool.  Does your’s include a statement about your background that’s so powerful that it transforms the reader’s initial scan into a lengthy read and then into a call to you?  It has to.

When you send off your resume, whether you’re replying to a specific opportunity or trying to uncover a hidden need, your resume needs to be read if you want to be considered.  Many people are under the false perception that just because they’ve gone through all the trouble and agony of producing a resume, someone is actually going to read it and care.  The fact of the matter is that you have somewhere between 6 – 10 seconds to impress a reader enough to get them to read the entire document for an employer which will likely take no more than 30 seconds.

Since resume writing is not perceived as an enjoyable task, people will often try to produce one version they can use for every possible situation.  They keep it nice and generic and stuff it with gobs and gobs of “responsible for[s]”.  Unfortunately, these resumes are usually the ones that end up in employers’ wastebaskets. Writing an all-purpose resume is like writing an all-purpose marriage proposal: you’re going to have to kiss a lot of frogs … 

Your resume is your personal emissary. It should provide a positive first impression and an honest summary of your skills and attributes. It must convince the reader that you are reliable, responsible, and ready to successfully handle the responsibilities of the job.

When your resume moves to the top of the pile, the reader will give it a brief look—perhaps for 10 to 15 seconds – for anything that piques their interest.  Does your resume include a statement about your background that’s so powerful that it transforms their initial scan into a lengthy look?  This is your one chance to make an impression.

Resumes, like every document, have a distinct purpose. Your success, as both a job seeker and resume writer depends on how effectively you tailor your message to each situation. If the job is worth going after, pursue it with a resume that has been carefully produced with a specific job in mind.  [See there’s that clarity of purpose stuff again!]  Length is not an issue.  Content is.  People will read any length of resume IF the content is of interest to them, and that’s the secret. 

A Guerrilla’s resume[s] screams, “here’s what’s in it for you”. A Guerrilla builds resumes that are relevant to a specific reader.  They target them to a specific group if not an exact individual.  Their resumes are always focused.  They are never general.  They are results-based never wishy-washy.  They are accomplishment focused not responsibility laden. 

Chronological

This is the most commonly used format and the one many employers like because it is easy to read.  It is the correct choice for you if you intend to stay in your current industry because it shows the reader exactly what you’ve done and where you fit by detailing your most recent experience first and then working backwards through your career history.  It highlights your job titles, places of employment, and dates of tenure by presenting them as headings, in order by date, under which your achievements are listed.

Use the chronological format if:

  • your career history shows consistent growth or promotions;
  • the job you are applying for is clearly the next logical step in your career;
  • you intend to stay in the same industry or one immediately adjacent to it; for example: from automotive to Tier one supplier.

Functional

A functional resume, just like it sounds, groups your accomplishments into skill headings [functions] like: leadership, management, sales, marketing, new product development, administration, finance, business development operations, etc.

The format presents your experience under skill headings, giving you the freedom to prioritize your accomplishments by impact – and relevance to your objective – rather than by chronology. In this format, your work history (job titles, company names and dates of previous employment) is listed concisely in a section separate from your achievements.

Use a functional resume if:

  • you are changing industry or professions and need to emphasize your transferable skills;
  • you are underemployed in your current position;
  • your job title does not accurately reflect the level of responsibility you have
  • you are a student with great potential but near zero “real experience” and you want to demonstrate a track record of activities that would lead an employer to conclude you have “promise” and hire you for your first job;
  • you are reentering the job market;

 

Value based resume

My personal preference is a value based resume.  This style mirrors the attributes employers are looking for according to the New Value Table from the two books, Career Guide for the High Tech Professional and Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters

I pioneered the Value Based Résumé.  It’s a hybrid of the chronological and functional resumes and it’s designed to address the one question on every single employer’s mind, “What can this candidate do for me?” 

It’s a concise no-nonsense approach which easily transmits your bias towards action to the hiring manager.  The tone should be,  “I walk through walls on a regular basis.”  Look what I’ve accomplished so far.  What can I do for you?”  It generally resonates well with senior executives because just like them, you have passion and a bias toward action. 

Use a Value Based resume if:

  • you have the accomplishments to back your claims;
  • you can’t hide the fact that you’re  a type “A” personality;
  • you want to encourage an employer to move quickly to an interview stage;
  • you are already a high-powered executive;
  • you are in a fast paced, high intensity occupation, like sales, law, or entertainment; or

 

Special eXtreme Makeover – 1 page Guerrilla Résumé

Now, let’s break some rules.  So many times it’s this sparkling, one-page resume that is directly responsible for landing the job interview.  This is your biggest weapon in your Guerrilla job hunting arsenal.  Nothing—and I mean nothing—beats it.  You can use the eXtreme resume makeover as a stand-alone resume or better yet as a teaser to generate interest and secure an interview. 

Done correctly, it will get you an interview every time.

This resume is a cross between a Functional and a Value Based resume that’s been pumped with steroids. This format can only be sent to senior executives.  Let me warn you though, if you use this resume format you’d better be prepared to back it up with facts and figures in an interview.  You’ll have to document your facts meticulously. 

Use Guerrilla Resume if:

  • you are currently in a situation where there is enormous competition for a limited number of jobs and yo need to crush the competition; 
  • you want to “test the waters” before launching a comprehensive job-hunt;
  • you want to create a job in a company that has no openings; or
  • you want to change industries.
  • Job Objective or Summary
  • Summary of Accomplishments
  • Special skills
  • Career History
  • Education
  • Proof Section

It has 6 major areas…

For  Example – here’s a sample of a before and after.  Here are 25 example resumes that landed real jobs. 

Non-Guerrilla job hunters do the following when they are looking for a new job:  they construct a resume that details their responsibilities, ask their friends and neighbors if they know of any job openings, respond to newspaper ads, and a few of the tech savvy ones will reply to job board postings.  That’s it. 

That’s not enough, it’s the bare minimum which everyone else does.   Non-Guerrilla job hunters can count on the competition for the few advertised or known jobs to be fierce.  Good luck to them. 

Make sure 100% that you gear your résumés to the employer’s position – specifically.  Pre-screen yourself for the employer.   If it’s too much work – then you have to ask your self a question: how important is my future.  A good head hunter may pre-screen and qualify you and then ask you to gear your resume to the specific position.  Follow their advice.

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