[03.15.13]
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Responding to “Help Wanted” Ads with a “Help Offered” Resume

help wanted ads, help offered, resume, professional resume, employers, current resumeIf you are not experiencing much success with your current resume, it may be because you are not responding to the employer’s expressed need for help.

This is a guest blog post by Sharon Hamersley.

Granted, many job ads are not very clear, but to the extent possible, put yourself in the employer’s seat and see if you can figure out what problems they are trying to solve.

Then, craft your resume to demonstrate how you can solve those problems. Most applicants’ resumes do not speak to the employer’s needs.

Each prior job looks something like this:

Assistant Manager, Company XYZ, 2003-2012
• Managed staff of 25 people
• Responsible for ensuring all goals met
• Conducted staff meetings and individual performance reviews
• Blah…Blah…Blah…

How does any of this solve the employer’s problems? Short answer…it doesn’t! But you can demonstrate your ability to solve their problems by including key words and accomplishments. Let’s talk about how to identify these…

Step one: ask why

If you repaired widgets or ran the month-end reports, why were you doing that? “Because that was my job” is not an acceptable response here. Try the following answers:
• Repaired widgets to maintain daily operations.
• Ran month-end reports summarizing company financials.

Step two: ask what was the value to the company?

This is where many job applicants stumble. They are not used to thinking like a business owner, but in today’s job market you need to do that. Let’s expand the above statements:
• Repaired widgets to maintain daily operations, minimize downtime, and ensure maximum productivity.
• Ran month-end reports summarizing company financials, providing a clear picture of the company’s financial position in support of management decisions.

Step three: add a quantitative or qualitative descriptor.

If you were performing your job well, there were standards that you were meeting, even if no one ever told you exactly what they were. See if you can identify a measure that describes how well you were doing your required duties:

• Repaired widgets in 60 minutes or less to maintain daily operations, minimize downtime, and ensure maximum productivity.

• Ran 100% accurate and complete month-end reports summarizing company financials, providing a clear picture of the company’s financial position in support of management decisions.

So here’s your homework if you want to beef up your resume to a “Help Offered” ad.

Take each job duty on your current resume and write it at the top of a sheet of paper. Then write down as many answers to the Why? and What Value? questions as you can identify. See if you can also add a quantitative or qualitative descriptor.

Finally, put all of this into a sentence, and replace what you have in your resume with this new information. You are well on your way to creating a “Help Offered” resume.

And if you need more help with resume formatting, by all means download Tim’s TruFocus™ resume template.

Thanks photologue_np for the photo via Flickr


Written by: Sharon Hamersley
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Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes

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