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Resume Tweaking May Be Better Than An Overhaul

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I was meeting with a candidate today, we will call him Andy, who recently landed. He had been on the market for about 5 months. He did all the right things, went to the networking meetings, drank more coffee than he should have, reworked his resume over and over, all for nothing. He would get interviews but never make the cut. He had sent out lots of resumes with moderate success.

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About 2 month ago I met with Andy and a group of financial professionals, mainly CFOs,  to do a resume review exercise. You might try this exercise.  Everyone brings their current resume and passes them face down to the person next to them. Then at the same time everyone turns the resume over and for 10 seconds reviews them. After 10 seconds all resumes go  face down again. The next step gets to the real purpose for the exercise. The person that read the resume for 10 seconds gives feedback on exactly what they learned about the person’s background, companies, position, location and any other information they took away in that short period of time. Why you ask? That is about how long most people first look at a resume, so the purpose is to find out if the person reading the resume for 10 seconds captures from the resume what the owner of the resume wanted them to. If not, then they need to change the resume.

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After the meeting I started working with Andy as part of our Job Search Coaching program. The first thing I noticed was Andy’s resume had him as a CFO. The reality was that compared to other CFOs in the group Andy could not compete. He was really a controller. Andy was trying to play at a level that he wasn’t competitive.  He lost out every time, either when the resume was submitted, or during the interview.

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We made a small tweak to his resume by taking off  all references to CFO and changed them to controller. Everything else remained the same. Within two weeks Andy started getting interviews and within 6 weeks he was working. He credits all of the activity and the job to this one tweak of his resume.

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Sometimes one small change can make all the difference. Make sure you are playing in the right league. Andy wasn’t, and his resume clearly communicated that. Like most candidates I coach, candidates think only about themselves and not the competition. Andy had clearly done this. He would have been working months earlier had he thought about this.

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Download a free sample cover letter that has proven over and over to get candidates noticed and align their experience with what the company is looking for. Join the hundreds that have download this by  CLICKING  HERE.

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Check to see if your job search needs tweaking. Download our free Job Search Self Assessment Scorecard. It will highlight what you are doing well and what you need to tweak. CLICK HERE to get your scorecard.

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