An outstanding resume in a present-day style and context won’t in and of itself get you a job, but it is an absolute must.
Yet, that’s only half the reason to put in the effort and cost to go through a thorough resume development process.
On the one hand, if your resume is not created in the modern day context, aligned with the processes, keywords, points of emphasis and style hiring managers and resume scanning computer software use, you’re typically screwed before you get past the first step.
On the other hand, the process of developing an outstanding resume has even greater rewards for you to achieve ultimate success.
A number of years ago when I left a job I was determining whether to re-start my video content creation business, Paul Long Productions (what I wanted to do) or find a “real job” (what my wife wanted me to do). Ugh! That meant I needed to write a resume (and keep it just short of the length of War and Peace).
Hire a Professional
I actually listened to my own advice: Almost no one can effectively market themselves/their company on his or her own.
So I hired a professional resume writer and the results were huge. I ended up with a phenomenal resume that was far better than I ever would have done myself (and I’m a writer and marketer!).
For me, the biggest benefit was a greater appreciation and awareness of skills, talents, and experience I had to offer (see Resumes & business plans help you figure you and it out).
Two reasons: Context and Self-Discovery
Context because the writer knew how to take my raw information and translate it into impactful, meaningful terms and relevance for my target audience (potential employers).
This is especially critical for people over 50 because you must overcome and counter the stereotypes a potential employer may have (too old, too set in your ways, too expensive to hire, etc.).
If your resume has the look and feel of just a couple of years ago, you’re also might be screwed right from the get go.
It is the job of a great professional resume writer to know your target audience, be up-to-date on the latest trends and be able to translate “you” into a great prospective hire. They also must be attuned to creating resumes for people over 50.
And then there’s the fact that many large companies review resumes with computer software. A good professional resume writer will know how to optimize your resume for this.
The second reason is self-discovery and this is huge for you in innumerable ways. The process of providing your resume writer with information is a journey of self-discovery. Many pros will supply you with an extensive questionnaire that goes far beyond dates, duties, and titles.
You will be required to look at yourself, what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved and what you offer in new, exciting and marketable ways. It’s all a motivating, positive and enabling revelation.
With my effort, I was constantly discovering that skills and achievements I took for granted are actually magical attributes to others. Especially when presented in the proper terminology and context by the resume pro.
“Wow! I really do that?”
There were numerous terms that led me to ask, “Do I really have and offer that ability?” My resume writer would then outline why she used that term (e.g. Executive Advisory & Decision Support, Key & Major Accounts Management, Team Building, Mentoring & Leadership). “You told me you did this and this, so yes, this is correct These are what those attributes are to a prospective employer in the terminology (keywords) they are seeking.”
She also put great emphasis on the successful results I had achieved, which is a top priority for a potential employer. The more quantitative the better.
Beyond the resume, this discovery solidified and elevated how I thought about myself and how I presented myself both for potential jobs and in re-establishing my content creation business Paul Long Productions. For the job seeker, these terms and realizations will be in your consciousness as you network and interview. The benefits of that self-discovery cannot be understated.
Picking the right professional
Be sure to interview a potential resume writer before hiring them and review their samples. Do a Google search and compare with today’s standards and “must haves”. Make sure the pro is best suited to you and your needs and will best reflect you in the document, as opposed to some one-size-fits-all template approach. And make sure they are attuned to representing people over 50 and know how to guide you through the discovery process and put your abilities and experience in the best possible context.
I found that filling out the extensive questionnaire in and of itself was a huge benefit, reconnecting me with what I had accomplished and what I was capable of. It also grounded me in the realization that what I thought of as fundamental and easy for me can be magic to others.
Be sure to seek out:
Someone who will dispassionately evaluate and rate your abilities.Someone who will dispassionately evaluate and rate your abilities.
Someone to put it all into the context of what a suitable employer would be looking for.
Someone to put your skills, talent, and experience in the right terminology.
Someone to optimize the resume for computer vetting.
Someone who is up on the latest trends.
Very importantly, someone who understands the needs, challenges and positive attributes of over 50 job seekers.
Equally if not even more importantly, looking at yourself through the eyes and context of a professional who will instill in your mind a greater awareness of the amazing talents, skills, and experience you have to offer in a context highly desired by employers.
Follow through on this and you will have a resume that is an asset instead of a liability. Also, the process will elevate your efforts, your confidence and your ability to sell yourself.
Have any resume tips of your own. Please share in the comments below.