Create a Master File, including everything you have to offer to any employer. Don’t let this be a roadblock! It’s just the on ramp. Start entering and keep entering as you think of other information that might interest an employer. This will never be “final” since it’s a living document, growing throughout your career. You never delete anything from the Master File but you are always adding to it:
1. Format your existing resume to your advantage before you start to add things. If you’ve worked in one profession your whole career and steadily advanced, a chronological resume can be a winner. If you haven’t had that kind of career, consider a functional resume or a hybrid so you can focus attention on what you bring to the job instead of your work history.
2. Add a summary – a paragraph that gives an overview of who you are professionally. This can be long and include more than you would ever send for any individual opportunity. Don’t edit as you go. Just get every high level statement about you that you can offer into your Master File. If you wind up with 100 pages it doesn’t matter. No one but you will ever see it all.
3. Add as many general objectives as there are for what you know you can do well. You should be able to think of several positions that you’re qualified for and several industries where you have something to offer. Objectives are theirs, not yours. Each one is a Job Title in an industry.
Example: General Manager for a solar panel manufacturing company.
4. Show your skills. Use the keywords and search engine terms that you know employers are looking for. Showing them near the top of the resume will keep you from landing in the reject pile. Using the terms the company is looking for will keep you in the running whether your resume is being reviewed by a human or a machine. The skills that will stay in your customized resume are the ones that support the objective you use.
5. List your accomplishments in concise, bulleted paragraphs – two to five lines. This is the part that differentiates you and shows that you do more than just meet expectations. Start with the most powerful verb that fits and then mention the results. After that you can elaborate about how you did it.
Example: Decreased costs 40% for a large packaging machinery company by performing gap analysis in three days and implementing the highest priority changes over a two month period.
6. List your job experience as one-liners. Start with your job title because you are the product, not the companies you worked for or the dates and places that you worked for them. Follow your position title with the company name and location. Put the from and to dates out at the right margin. List your present or last job first and work backward.
7. List your education. If you are a recent graduate, show it right after your objective. A recent degree will explain light experience and avoid unreasonable expectations. If you have relevant experience from your jobs as you went to school, the recent degree will show you to be a real go getter with your eye on the prize. Most of the time, the degree is a company requirement for a position and it can go at the end.
Conclusion: When you find a position that interests you, it’s a simple matter to turn a copy of your Master File into an excellent example of relevant clear, concise communication by deleting everything that does not apply from the copy of the Master File. You will get more interviews and you get interviews for the kinds of jobs you want. The hidden benefit in this process is that you will remember how good you are.
Got drama in your workplace? Drama comes from confusion and resulting dissatisfaction. Put a solid, structured business system and clear, concise communication in place and end the drama.
Joy Montgomery saves time and money with skilled business systems analysis and accompanying clear, concise communication in a way that strengthens teams – a friendly way. She puts you in a position to succeed with consistently satisfied customers and employees. She applies the same skills as a career coach.