Combine Sizzle and Steak in Your Resume Writing

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Typically, when we write a resume, we open a blank page in MS Word and start at the top with our personal information.  We add a few tabs and set the font, and then what?  If you write an objective and then list your work experience, this blog is perfect for you.  This approach to resume writing might sound common but is, in fact, the most ineffective way to marketing your skills and abilities.

Beginning a resume with an objective statement followed by a list of work experiences is a thing of the past.  This resume writing approach focuses only on facts and what the job seeker wants rather than what the employer needs.  Today’s marketplace requires job seekers to focus on marketing their unique value proposition to potential employers.  Think about it, the employer is the consumer, right? With that information in mind, consider what should drive the advertising message for this vital marketing document.

If  you really want to write an effective resume, my advice is to forget everything you have ever been taught about resume writing.  Don’t open a blank page and start writing because you will forget your audience every time with this approach.  Your first step should be to break down your past experiences.  For every work or leadership experience, list the duties, accomplishments, and skills that you demonstrated, along with a copy of the job description(s) for which you want to apply, and then compare the two.  Prove that you possess the skills and competencies that the employer needs in this position. Using these two documents, write a summary statement at the top of your resume that promotes a snapshot of the value you will bring to the job.

The best practice when writing a professional resume is to tell a successful story about the candidate.  When writing your own resume, don’t let resume buzz words get in the way of the action or “sizzle” of your story.  Phrases such as “responsible for, acted as, and participated in” diminish the impact of your message and will not inspire hiring authorities to read your resume.

Remember that the average time spent during the first pass of a resume is roughly 10-20 seconds.  Frankly, readers scan for relevance and focus on finding candidates to eliminate the first time through the stack as opposed to targeting the ideal candidates.

A resume needs to be a job seeker’s written masterpiece.  Resumes beginning with the typical “Seeking a challenging position that will utilize my skills and experience” will not merit a second look.  A professional opening to your resume will grab the attention of the reader and get right to the heart of the employer’s needs.   This is what brings the sizzle and steak together.

A resume that only contains bland facts displayed in a tasteless manner will usually be overlooked. Whereas a resume that addresses the needs and interests of prospective employers will result in invitations to interviews.

To learn more about how Career Wizards can help you develop a resume that focuses on the job you want and how you are qualified for it, visit us at And please feel free to reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page. We look forward to hearing from you!


3 thoughts on “Combine Sizzle and Steak in Your Resume Writing

  1. Pingback: Combine Sizzle and Steak in Your Resume Writing « Career … | How to Write a Resume for a Job

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