Cracking the New Job Market

The 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy

 Cracking the New Job Market

Author: R. William Holland, Ph.D.
Pub Date: August 2011
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417348
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417355

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5 Steps to a Value Infused Resume

Five Steps to Creating a Value-Infused Résumé

What makes you the most valuable candidate for the job? To answer that question, every job seeker has to accept a humbling fact: when you’re sending out a résumé, value is not about you. As career management consultant R. William Holland stresses, “Your success in landing the job depends on your ability to find out what it is that the hiring organization values, and deliver it to them in your initial application for the position.” As he shares in his new book, CRACKING THE NEW JOB MARKET: The 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy (AMACOM 2011), developing a focused, value-filled résumé is a five-step process:

Step 1: Identify the Employer’s Key Words. Carefully read the description for the job in which you are interested. Highlight all the action verbs, adjectives, and skills that refer to the attributes the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. These are key qualities because they represent the value the company seeks in the person who will fill the position. Compile a list of these key words and organize them by category. Place an asterisk next to key words mentioned more than once. Review the company’s website with attention to key words.

Step 2: List Your Experiences. Begin setting the focus on your background. Make a list of your work experiences. Make sure it is in reverse chronological order—that is, the most recent experiences are listed first. State the job title and task performed in each job. Recall as many relevant details as possible, such as your responsibilities and accomplishments. This is where most people end as they prepare their résumé. You’re just getting started.

Step 3: Infuse Your Experiences with Value. Revisit each accomplishment in your list of experiences and ask, “How did I create value?” Value, in this sense, has three aspects: results that can either be quantified (with numbers) or qualified (with phrases like “top rank”) and/or that include language your targeted employer uses to express value. Rewrite your accomplishments with quantitative and qualitative values infused in them, using the employer’s key words.

Step 4: Select the Best Statements. Assess each accomplishment statement on your list according to the following criteria: Does this statement illustrate specific value I have created? Is the value that I have created useful to my prospective employer? If you can answer both questions affirmatively, then include the statement on your résumé. If not, or if you’re unsure, set it aside for now. Make sure only those statements with direct bearing for this job are included in your résumé. Select and rank in order the best five or six.

Step 5: Format and Refine Your Résumé. For purposes of format, feel free to use a template; a Microsoft Word template works fine. Open with a Summary (what you are known for—your brand) rather than an Objective statement (what you want to do). In the critical Professional Experience section, structure your accomplishments statements to include a result and an action, the skill set you used to get things done. Quantify, qualify, and reinforce key words to communicate value, clearly and strongly, to your prospective employer.

Adapted from CRACKING THE NEW JOB MARKET: The 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy by R. William Holland (AMACOM 2011).

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