It’s OK to be modest about your virtues — just as long as you give them a starring role in your job search, recruiter Joanne Yawitz says. Pitch every available platitude about yourself.
“Something that’s impressive about your life, you might dismiss it on your resume. And you shouldn’t, because it will stand out” in a good way, Yawitz, a career development coach, explained in a presentation, “Powerful Tips From a High-Level Recruiter,” at Monday’s Marin Professionals meeting.
And take advantage of every opportunity.
“The universe knocks. If we don’t answer it, it knocks louder,” Yawitz said. “That’s certainly relevant for anyone seeking a new job.”
Just as essential, she says, is making sure that the document is perfect in every way. One slip-up, be it a grammatical mistake, spelling error or inconsistent verb tense call spell doom. And sprinkle in plenty of action words.
“It’s important to remember that your resume is your sales pitch,” Yawitz added. “It puts you one step closer to finding a job.”
And, the fewer the words, the greater the impact, as long as the resume is long on detail and short on puff.
Her appeal for conciseness and correctness was reflected in the eloquence and brevity of her own words. Yawitz, whose string of strong acronyms — MBA and MCRP (Master of City and Regional Planning) — boasts a vocabulary befitting a graduate of Harvard University.
But don’t go overboard on word choice, she warns.
“There’s the whole subliminal effect of your resume. You don’t want to pull the reader down, mired in four-syllable words.”When crafting a resume, Yawitz said, remember to:
- Use upbeat, descriptive language, and include specifics when citing numbers, dollar amounts and achievements;
- Emphasize longevity with companies and underscore advancements;
- Allow for clean margins and indentations and a consistent style that takes advantage of bullets;
- Highlight titles, companies, accomplishments, education and awards in bold or underline type;
- Sprinkle in key words that will be picked up by a computer scanning program;
- Make timeframes and gaps in employment easy to understand.
“To find the job you want,” Yawitz said, “you have to communicate it through your resume.”
Furthermore, she said, it must evoke success and motivation. Potential employers want to feel like they’re putting a keeper on the payroll.
“Finding a job is analogous to dating,” Yawitz said. “You (the boss) have to feel good about that person being around you all day. It has to be a similar fit.”
Just as important, she said, is adding a “personal” section that makes a good impression that “sets you apart,” Yawitz said. “Are you an ice skater? Are you a gourmet chef?”