3 Keys to a Purpose-Driven Resume

By Jessica Holbrook

We’ve all heard of the mega-bestselling book Purpose Driven Life, right? What a great principle to apply to our resumes, cover letters, and job searches! Instead of utilizing a generic or jack-of-all trades resume, we should be using a purpose-driven, focused, and customized resume. In fact, if you have expertise in more than one area, then you should be broadcasting more than one resume.

After working recently with a client who had an extremely unfocused, all-over-the-place resume, I was prompted to sit down and write about how important a focused, customized, and branded resume really is. This particular client had his resume nicely written, and to tell the truth, it wasn’t half bad. It contained great wording, had an appealing format, and even included some terrific accomplishments. The problem was that this resume had multiple personalities—ten different job titles and no clear direction. So it was no wonder he hadn’t received even one call back. Hiring managers were probably reviewing the resume and thinking, “I have no idea where to put this person or what he really wants to do.”

If you have experience and expertise in several different areas, it certainly is not a negative, but blasting everything you have ever done all over your resume—where it looks like job titles and keywords just threw up all over it—is not going to get you an interview … or a call back for that matter. Here are three points you should consider in order to clean up your resume, communicate your purpose, and customize it:

1. Focus. Pick one position, one role, one industry. Then convey your achievements, contributions, experience, expertise, talent, passion, and vision for that one key role. This does not mean you can only apply for one position; this is where the technique of employing multiple resumes that are focused in different areas comes in to play.

2. Don’t just develop a resume with any old content. Create your personal branding statement, and then tie in all of the other elements of your resume to support that statement. If you are an amazing sales manager in the XYZ industry, then what makes you so great? How do your talent, passion, and vision play into that?

3. Customization is crucial. Fuse an appropriate branding statement and relevant career summary with industry-specific keywords and pertinent accomplishments. They should all relate back to the exact position to which you are applying at that very moment. Everything about your resume should address the key points of the job description and answer the question: “Why are you a perfect fit for this job?” If you can review the description and honestly answer, “I addressed all of their requirements—either through my branding statement, career summary, keywords, or accomplishments,” then you can be assured you have a purpose-driven resume.

CEO of Great Resumes Fast, Jessica Holbrook is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. She has written more than 100 articles that are featured on some of the best career advice Web sites today. For a free resume analysis, please send your resume to info@greatresumesfast.com or visit online at http://www.greatresumesfast.com to view sample resumes and find information about professional resume writing services.

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