Why Your Resume Should Have a Core Message
CORE RESUME MESSAGE
One of the most common mistakes people make when searching for a job is not being selective and intentional about what information they put on their resume, and not having a core resume message.
Instead, they list every experience they’ve had and end up drowning out the relevant information that a specific job may require. The problem becomes the lack of a central focus.
DETERMINE YOUR CORE RESUME MESSAGE
Your resume must paint a clear picture to prospective employers. It should show how well suited you are for their company. You want to play up your strengths and experiences that apply to the position you’re interviewing for.
In her book, Breathe Life into Your Resume, Dr. Jeannine Bennett says, “A core message in a resume is simple, it is merely something that tells your audience who you are and what you excel in.” She explains, “If you consider yourself to be a seasoned salesperson, does your resume read as such?”
GATHER YOUR STORY
The next step is to gather all of the documentation you need to support your core message. These will be things like old resumes, notes you’ve written down of experience you’ve gained, or courses you’ve taken, etc.
You’ll want to look over all of your information and determine what you see versus what you want to see. Bennett says, “The entire resume should be a story of your professional career with quantifiable, supporting evidence to demonstrate you are the perfect person for the job in which you are applying.”
It is important to be selective and intentional with the information you select. It might be super interesting that I was a wedding singer in Japan, but that has little to do with my current role at Vision to Purpose. That job experience is a perfect example of something better left off my resume for communications positions.
CRAFT YOUR RESUME
Once you’ve selected which items to add to your resume, it’s essential to step back and look at it as a whole. Does the resume you’ve created send the message you’re intending? Does it show exactly how qualified you are? Is it stream-lined without being skeletal? Is your resume pointing directly towards the job to which you’re applying? If the answers are “no,” keep tweaking it until your message is clear.
UPDATE AS NEEDED
If you’re applying to a range of jobs, it should go without saying that you’ll need to update and change your resume as needed. Many people find it very helpful to have a “master” resume that includes every single job, experience, training, volunteer work, and skill that they have had.
You do not want to use your master resume to apply for a job. Instead, it is the document that you will pull from when creating specific and targeted resumes so that you’re not starting from scratch each time you apply for a job.
CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL
It can be daunting to look at 20 years of your life and sort out what experiences make you a valuable applicant. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and need help determining an appropriate message for your resume, asking a trusted friend or fellow industry professional can be helpful.
If you don’t have someone like that available to you, a resume writing professional is worth their weight in gold. Seasoned resume writers are pros at crafting targeted resumes. Vision to Purpose founder and CEO, Dr. Jeannine Bennett, literally wrote the book on creating the perfect resume. Lucky for you, she has made it so easy to glean from her successful method.
In addition to reading her resume book, you can also sign up to take her Breathe Life into Your Resume online course through Teachable at a $70-off discount during COVID-19!
If the DIY route isn’t your cup of tea, Dr. Bennett has a wide range of resume-writing packages available to suit your needs. Even easier, schedule a quick and free 15-minute resume consultation to chat with her about your current resume situation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.
ABOUT VISION TO PURPOSE
Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed through the offering of tailored career, life, and business solutions.