Education Career Services

March 3, 2010

It’s an Upgrade Job Market

The rules have changed in today’s job market.  Companies once retaining “B” performers no longer can afford the financial burden.  In today’s market, the cost of under-performance, and the fat needing to be trimmed in order to survive, is no longer an affordable indulgence.

Over the last 90 days, 3 out of 4 professionals securing a position replaced someone under-performing.  Holding these numbers for next 90 days, your resume must be written as a solution based document, not as a responsibilities driven timeline, two very different approaches offering two very different results.  Using work history as the primary story telling medium, you create a boring and passé “selling instrument.”  It may be a traditional document, but there is nothing traditional about today’s market.

Top “A” performers uncover company problems.  Top “A” performers become the solution.  By identifying difficulties and designing your value as the solution to their problem, you create an effective marketing tool.

Adding constraints to a time-sensitive culture, job seekers present contributions to decision makers who are, more often than not, not actively looking for you.  As a result, you must hit fast and hard – every word on your resume counts.

Writing your own resume is unwise.  After all, there’s a tendency to come across in a responsibility driven format.  For maximum impact, a solutions based document needs to be concise and results driven.  Ask yourself the following and acknowledge how an employer would find value in your written response:

  1. What are the common challenges facing the industries you are targeting?
  2. How have you contributed to solving those problems?
  3. What are your top five accomplishments?  Quantify them in numbers, dollars, percentages, time-savings etc…
  4. What is the largest project/deal/sale/feat you’ve worked on (speak to whatever is appropriate to describe the merits of your expertise)?
  5. Have you been involved in the turnaround of a company, division, program, or project? Describe in a three line maximum statement.
  6. Why would a decision maker want to spend ten minutes talking to you?  Develop a verbal message to further describe action statements from your resume.
  7. Does your marketing material reflect an “A” or “B” performer?  How?

When developing key statements, detail the issue(s), what action plan(s) you developed and/or implemented, and the result(s)?

After a benefit driven marketing resume is constructed, it’s time to get in front of the right person within the organizations who will benefit from your contributions.  The “A” performer does not look for job openings.  The “A” performer pursues challenges and opportunities, never settling.  The “B” performer waits on the sidelines, settling for status quo. 

Are you an “A” performer or a “B” performer? 

Submitted by Rob Swanson, fellow certified writer and manager at Career Services International.

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