A professional resume is something that every professional needs, but not everyone bothers to write. Or they write one once, and then never update it. Or they wait until it’s needed for a proposal and just jot down the first few things that come to mind without putting much thought into it.
That’s a huge missed opportunity. Your professional resume is a strategic marketing tool, and should be given the effort and attention it deserves. A professional resume should be a concise overview of your skills, experience and achievements as they relate to specific services being offered or market segments being targeted.
Consider the following when developing your professional resume:
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.
Focus your professional resume on how you help your clients.
Keep in mind that even though your resume is ABOUT you, it is not FOR you.
Of course, there should be a focus on your achievements and experience, but it is important to show prospects how you use that experience to help them. Explain the significance of your achievements.
Once you have drafted your resume, try the “so what?” test. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, and for each item on your resume, ask yourself “why do I care?” Does this help instill confidence in the person reading your resume that you are competent and trustworthy? If not, edit.
Use language prospects understand.
You may be an expert in state sales tax legislation, but that doesn’t mean your prospects are. Be mindful of using industry jargon and providing too much detail. It’s important to strike a balance between detailed descriptions that demonstrate your knowledge, and big picture thinking that shows you understand your clients’ overall goals and challenges.
Try to adapt to your prospects’ vocabulary. Use key words and phrases that will resonate with them. Remember, it’s about them, not you.
And while we’re at it, not everything in your resume needs an acronym. Sometimes, “project management” experience > “PM” experience.
Ensure consistency with your firm’s style and brand.
One of the most common problems with professional resumes is a lack of consistency. You want to present your professionals as a cohesive team. The style in which your resume is written should reflect your firm’s brand.
Keep it concise.
People have very short attention spans. Your professional resume is intended to be a snapshot of your knowledge, skills and experience—just enough to demonstrate how you help your clients and why you are qualified.
Your professional resume is not intended to be a complete autobiographic chronicle of your life, to be bound in leather and passed down to your great-grandchildren. That’s a different story for another time.
Your professional resume is not—I repeat, is NOT—a “one-and-done” exercise.
You don’t want your resume to seem frozen in time. It is important to update your resume with recent experience and achievements on a regular basis, at least annually.
Spend the most resume real estate on what your focus is now, with exceptions for outstanding honors or experiences that have had a significant impact on how you got to your current position.
As a professional, your clients are seeking your knowledge and experience, and the best way to capture this information is in the form of a resume.
A good professional resume can help clients feel confident in hiring your firm, and can put them at ease knowing that your team is ready and capable of helping them to achieve their goals. As a marketing tool, your resume should make it clear why someone should trust and work with you.
Now that you’ve crafted an effective professional resume, contact us to learn how POUNCE can help your firm manage resumes and marketing materials for business development.