In the first, you make assertions about your abilities, qualities and achievements. You write powerful, but honest, advertising copy that makes the reader immediately perk up and realize that you are someone special.
The second section, the evidence section, is where you back up your assertions with evidence that you actually did what you said you did. This is where you list and describe the jobs you have held, your education, etc. This is all the stuff you are obliged to include.
Most resumes are just the evidence section, with no assertions. If you have trouble getting to sleep, just read a few resumes each night before going to bed. Nothing puts people to sleep better than the average resume.
The juice is in the assertions section. When a prospective employer finishes reading your resume, you want them to immediately reach for the phone to invite you in to interview. The resumes you have written in the past have probably been a gallant effort to inform the reader. You don’t want them informed. You want them interested and excited.
In fact, it is best to only hint at some things. Leave the reader wanting more. Leave them with a bit of mystery. That way, they have even more reason to reach for the phone.
The assertions section usually has two or three sections. In all of them, your job is to communicate, assert and declare that you are the best possible candidate for the job and that you are hotter than a picnic on Mercury.
You start by naming your intended job. This may be in a separate Objective section, or may be folded into the second section, the Summary. If you are making a change to a new field, or are a young person not fully established in a career, start with a separate Objective section.
Ideally, your resume should be pointed toward conveying why you are the perfect candidate for one specific job or job title. Good advertising is directed toward a very specific target audience.
When a car company is trying to sell their inexpensive compact to an older audience, they show grandpa and grandma stuffing the car with happy, shiny grandchildren and talk about how safe and economical the car is. When they advertise the exact same car to the youth market, they show it going around corners on two wheels, with plenty of drums and power chords thundering in the background. You want to focus your resume just as specifically.
Targeting your resume requires that you be absolutely clear about your career direction–or at least that you appear to be clear. If you aren’t clear where you are going, you wind up wherever the winds of chance blow you. You would be wise to use this time of change to design your future career so you have a clear target that will meet your goals and be personally fulfilling.
Even if you are a little vague about what you are looking for, you cannot let your uncertainty show. With a nonexistent, vague or overly broad objective, the first statement you make to a prospective employer says you are not sure this is the job for you.
The way to demonstrate your clarity of direction or apparent clarity is to have the first major topic of your resume be your OBJECTIVE.
Let’s look at a real world example. Suppose the owner of a small software company puts an ad in the paper seeking an experienced software sales person. A week later they have received 500 resumes.
The applicants have a bewildering variety of backgrounds. The employer has no way of knowing whether any of them are really interested in selling software.
They remember all the jobs they applied for that they didn’t really want. They know that many of the resumes they received are from people who are just using a shotgun approach, casting their seed to the winds. Then they come across a resume in the pile that starts with the following:
OBJECTIVE – a software sales position in an organization seeking an extraordinary record of generating new accounts, exceeding sales targets and enthusiastic customer relations.
This wakes them up. They are immediately interested. This first sentence conveys some very important and powerful messages: “I want exactly the job you are offering. I am a superior candidate because I recognize the qualities that are most important to you, and I have them. I want to make a contribution to your company.”
This works well because the employer is smart enough to know that someone who wants to do exactly what they are offering will be much more likely to succeed than someone who doesn’t. And that person will probably be a lot more pleasant to work with as well.
Secondly, this candidate has done a good job of establishing why they are the perfect candidate in their first sentence. They have thought about what qualities would make a candidate stand out.
They have started communicating that they are that person immediately. What’s more, they are communicating from the point of view of making a contribution to the employer.
They are not writing from a self-centered point of view. Even when people are savvy enough to have an objective, they often make the mistake of saying something like, “a position where I can hone my skill as a scissors sharpener.” or something similar.
The employer is interested in hiring you for what you can do for them, not for fulfilling your private goals and agenda.
Read more at http://www.rockportinstitute.com/resume_02