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What your resume really says about you

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By: Reid Carr, President and CEO of Red Door Interactive Featured in iMediaConnection May 8, 2013

It is important to understand that when people read your resume or peruse your LinkedIn profile, they are formulating an opinion about you. That opinion is based solely on the limited facts that they have, and those facts clearly don't tell the person everything. But your resume and LinkedIn profile do tell a story, and the reader's time is limited. As such, these assets can either put you in contention for a great job or can immediately take you out of the running without an opportunity to fight for yourself. While you can't change history (and it is critical you are truthful about the facts), you shape perception either by the decisions you make into the future or by how you tell the story about your past. You want to be able to tell the right story for the jobs that can best unlock your potential. Here are some of the storylines potential employers perceive, how they arrive at them, and what you can do to ensure you're telling the correct ones.

I know what I want or I am still finding my way

If each job builds upon the next and you're applying for a job that matches all the others, then an employer knows that you're in this industry because it is a passion and you want to advance within it. If you've bounced around from one type of job to another or from one industry to another, then you appear aimless or are a "project." Ideally you can show consistency in your career by the roles you have had, or you will have to build a case about how the diversity might relate. Creatively connect the dots for the prospective employers so they clearly understand your passion and how that passion will serve them well in a role in their companies. If you truly don't know what you want and have always just looked for a paycheck, then you're looking for a hiring manager who is willing to take a big risk. I suggest that you retrace your prior jobs and extract moments you enjoyed. Try to find a common denominator to explore and match it with a career path.

I commit or I am a job-hopper

At first glance, you've had the right titles at the right places, which makes the prospective employer eager. The next step is to see how long you were in each role. If you only stayed at each place for two years, you are labeled a "job hopper." Job hoppers make any employer skeptical. If you put time in at your past couple of jobs, then you've made it to the "yes" pile.

I am promotable or I am not growing

If your resume shows a consistent bump in titles, particularly at the same company, it says that you were doing good work and were recognized for it. Make sure you show your promotions, but also show the longevity at the same employer. Be able to explain how you got those promotions as a result of carefully planned and specific, measureable achievements. Alternatively, if you held the same title for a long time, it can communicate that you stagnated. But sometimes there just isn't an option to get a promotion. If this is the case, explain the importance of the role and the structure of the employer to illustrate your range of important, impactful responsibilities. Longevity, increasing self-directed responsibility, and proven success are important factors to most good employers beyond a rising title without strong rationale for why.   Read entire article here  

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