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Ten Questions Your Resume Must Answer In Ten Seconds

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

However your reader gets your resume, it’s only going to get a quick glance. The first phrase or sentence that grabs the reader will pull them in its direction, like a magnet.

Something in your resume will grab them, or nothing will grab them and they’ll put your resume down or turn the page on the screen. 

That will be it. How many seconds elapsed while the manager scanned your resume? Maybe ten seconds!

Grab is the key verb. You have to grab their attention. You have to give them a reason to keep reading. Your resume has ten seconds to answer these critical questions that will be in a hiring manager’s mind.

You can answer all of them in your Human-Voiced Resume but you have to have the answers in your mind, first.

What kind of work do you do?

We have to know what kind of work you plan to do. You have to go to the costume party with some kind of costume. The hiring manager has specific pain if s/he has pain at all. “I can do all kinds of things” is not a brand. The Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume will tell us exactly what you do professionally.

Keep in mind that you can have as many versions of your resume as you want, branding yourself for as many career directions or ‘prongs’ as you can manage.

Here is Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing Summary. (She has four resumes, thus four slightly differently Summaries. Each one emphasizes a different aspect of Petra’s background.)

Not-For-Profit Marketer

I’m a Not-for-Profit Marketing person who loves to grow awareness and participation in sustainability and environmental efforts. I conceived and grew the Frog and Toad Society’s “Adopt a Tadpole” program to include 75 elementary schools, tremendous corporate sponsors and hundreds of individual donors.

I thrive in a fast-paced, make-it-work environment and love to design marketing programs from the ground up. I’m comfortable in traditional and social marketing, PR and trade show planning. I’m a budding public speaker who has spoken at two Not-for-Profit Marketing conferences so far and I’m looking for a new challenge.

How are you qualified to do this kind of work?

Petra did not wait to get into the body of her resume to give the reader (possibly her next manager) a sense of what she’s done. She knows that the manager doesn’t have any extra time. Petra is going to get into more detail about the Frog and Toad Society and her other jobs down in the body of her resume, but she gives the reader a taste of her awesomeness with a quick Dragon-Slaying Story in the Summary at the top.

Now the reader has gotten hooked by Petra’s story-magnet. The reader is intrigued. What’s the story with this Frog and Toad Adopt-a-Tadpole thing, anyway? The reader keeps reading and gets to the Frog and Toad section of Petra’s resume a little farther down the page. Now s/he can read all about what Petra did at the Society.

Read On…

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