Skill Based Format Selector
1. You have an erratic work
2. You have gaps in employment.
3. You are making a career change and your past work history and job
titles don't match
job objective or salary level.
4. You have used the same skills in many positions and a chronological
resume would be
5. You have a short work history and a chronological resume will
6. Older experience qualifies you for your job objective and a
chronological resume will draw
attention to the fact that this
is older experience.
7. Most recent experience doesn't support your objective and a
chronological resume will start
with weak and unrelated
What Do Employers Respond Best
To Chronological or Skill Based Resumes?
Many job seekers have been
told that employers only want chronological resumes. On the surface
this is true, because if asked most employers and recruiters say they
prefer chronological resumes. However, in the open job market employers
respond extremely well to good, skill based resumes. Several years ago,
I worked with Sharla, a gifted reading instructor. She was completing
her master's degree while working as a teacher full-time and doing
part-time sales. Sharla wanted a full-time sales position with a much
higher pay rate. We talked and I suggested she use a skill based resume
because she had held more than 15 part-time sales positions within the
last 10 years. A chronological resume just wouldn't work effectively
Sharla called the day after we completed her skill based resume. She
was very agitated and said, "All my friends say I have to
have a chronological resume." She wanted to come right over
and write a new resume.
I said, "Wait, we haven't even tested
this resume to see if it will work. Your resume is just like an
advertisement. We won't know how employers are going to respond to it
until we send it out for several job openings and see how many calls
you get." After
about 15 minutes I calmed her down and she proceeded to send out her
skill based resume. In about 2 weeks she called me and said, "You
won't believe how many interviews I've gotten. I just received an offer
for a position with Microsoft at $50,000 to travel throughout the
Northwest calling on software stores to setup and display Microsoft
products." Here's what Sharla's objective and qualifications
section said at the top of her resume:
SALES EXPERIENCE 1990 - Present
Consistently achieved $30,000 in annual income
from commission sales.
All positions were part-time while employed as a full-time teacher.
Currently seek a full-time sales position with high income potential.
Obviously, employers were impressed that Sharla
generated an income of $30,000 from part-time sales while employed
full-time as a teacher. Sharla's image would have been severely damaged
by using a chronological resume because she had held so many different
sales positions. Her story illustrates that you must test your resume
in the marketplace to effectively determine how employers will respond
to it - whether it's a chronological resume or a skill based resume. If
you get a poor response, then you haven't done a good job of
identifying skills employers want and you must change your resume. If
you get a great response and the interviews you receive are in the
salary range you want - then you know you've created an effective
$9,000 Salary Increase
first resume workshop in this site shows how Fran's after resume
resulted in a $9,000 salary increase.
Fran wanted a $33,000 Corporate Customer
Representative job but her resume created an image of her being at a
$20,000 to 24,000 salary level -- that's $9,000 to $13,000 beneath her
Level Does Your Resume Market You At?
you are curious to see what level your resume is marketing you at …
then be sure to read and use the graphing techniques in my first
graphing the job titles used in Fran's resume it's easy to see why her
resume failed … and once you understand this … you will understand why
the majority of resumes fail. You'll
then understand how to analyze your job titles and see if you are
better off using them or replacing them with skill headings that market
you more effectively.
Most People Have Job
Titles that Weaken Their Image
estimate that at least 85% of all job seekers have job titles unrelated
to their current career goals … and that they are much better off using
skill headings rather than job titles to land higher salaries and
double and triple their interview rates.
For example, Fran had been a
Directory Operator but in most people's minds that doesn't sound like
she's at the level of a Corporate Customer Representative making
$33,000 … that's because most people don't view directory operators as
providing true customer service. Most
people say that Directory Operator sounds like someone making only
by using the 12 Questions in my Proven Resumes Series, Fran wrote a new
description of her duties as a Directory Operator that described her
being selected out of 100 Directory Operators to provide specialized
Customer Service to the Governor's Office and Political Dignitaries in
the Washington State Capitol … now that information begins to change
our image of Fran doesn't it? That
makes her sound much more like someone being able to command $33,000.
Which sounds like a better
match for the $33,000 Corporate Customer Service Representative goal…
her old job title of Directory Operator
… or a skill heading like Customer Service
Representative to State of Washington Account.
In Fran's actual resume we used the heading of
Customer Service Representative but you can see how you can play with
skill headings to control and elevate your image … this is one strategy
I explain in detail with examples throughout my book, Proven Resumes:
Strategies That Have Increased Salaries, and one of the strongest
things I can offer you as a resume writer … just in case you don't have
the time or patience to write your own.
from 0% to 100% Interview Rate
using skill headings that matched her goal, Fran went from a 0%
interview rate to a 100% interview rate -- meaning none of her prior
resumes had landed an interview but her new resume landed an interview
for each position she applied for.
Click here to learn other ways we improved
Fran's resume and landed her a job paying $9,000 more
click here to read
my first set of resume workshops! If you've entered my site via this
page, be sure to go to my home
page for an overview of more than 60 Free Resume & Job Search
Workshops that include tons of Resume Tips for 45
Career Fields, Job Search, Electronic Resume, Cover Letter,
Interviewing, Networking and Confidence Building strategies.
The testimonials at the top of
this page and throughout my site describe salary increases ranging from
$10,000 to $30,000 and more. Here's
one of my most recent ones:
|Regina, the resume you
wrote caught the attention of the world's leading software
manufacturer. Thanks for helping inspire me through your
thoughtful questions and objective interpretation of my work history.
I'm sure it made a big
difference in my ability to be recognized in a competitive environment
and cross the $100,000 threshold. By the way, the offer I
accepted was an increase of $25K annually (21% increase).
Rachel Pizarro, Senior Sales Account Executive / Operations Manager
It's Critical That You Create A Format That
Markets You The Best!
Selecting the correct resume
format is probably the most important, single thing you can do to
create a resume that gets the results you want! The correct resume
format can have a dramatic impact by allowing you to effectively
control the image you present in your resume...and this translates into
more interviews and higher salary offers!
My newest booklet, Proven
Resumes: Strategies That Have Increased Salaries
provides six pages of worksheets to take you step by step through the
process of analyzing which resume format is best for you (so you can
see that the information above really is just a snippet of details from
the book). Whether you use a skill based resume or a chronological
resume, you'll also want to use the worksheets in this section to help
you determine if each of your job titles will sell you best. If one, or
several of your job titles, don't relate to the type of jobs you want
or weakens your image you'll be guided in modifying and strengthening
your titles or in developing strong skill headings to replace them.
Your goal is to correctly select and use a resume format that sells
your top titles or skill headings in seconds and makes the best of your
work history! Then to make sure that the main headings and titles that
stand out at first glance market you effectively!
Here's are two more testimonials that speak of the success job seekers
have had in using the system laid out in Proven
Resumes: Strategies That Have Increased Salaries. I
really have to say that testimonials like these are what keep me going!
Mikel Schutz, mentioned below, attended a workshop that I presented
when I was a Job Placement Specialist with the University of
Washington. He was also kind enough to appear on the video that I sell
as part of my instructor transparency set. On the video he shares his
testimonial. I also met Anne Illinitch while working at the UW Bothell.
After seeing one of my presentations at the campus she asked me to come
into her classes and give resume presentations to students completing
their degrees in business administration. She then purchased and used
my book in her classes.
Using the strategies in Regina's book, I developed
a resume with targeted headings for a position as a Product Manager
with a major software company. My resume resulted in my being 1 of
only 3 people selected for an interview out of 400 applicants. In the
end I didn't get that position but did accept a comparable position at
a 10% salary increase. Both experiences say much about the
effectiveness of the Proven Resumes System.
Mikel Schutz, Materials Manager
As with any testimonial, please keep in mind that
your results will vary!
As a Business Communications professor, I've seen scores of books on
resume writing. This book is truly vastly
superior in its emphasis on the visual
and psychological framing of the resume and its suggestions about how
to target market experience to achieve maximum results--and salary
increases! The 'before' and 'after'
examples are excellent!
Anne Illinitch, Assistant Professor, Business Administration
Now that we've covered these short tips on two
popular resume styles, we're ready to move on to the next workshop and
talk briefly about identifying and marketing your top skills.
Click here for NEXT
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