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How to Make Your Resume Recession-Ready

How to Make Your Resume Recession-Ready

Joe Turner |

While you shouldn’t let the hysteria about today’s economy derail your job hunt, you will have to get smarter in your job search strategy. How? By revising your tactics to include a more solution-selling approach to make your value clear to potential employers. You must always answer the question, “What’s in it for them?” not, “What’s in it for me?” Stay focused on what you can accomplish for your next employer. Demonstrate you understand the macroeconomic bigger picture of the role you play in moving the company forward.

To that end, apply these tips to retool your resume for a better chance of success during the recession.

Add Achievements to Your Resume

Leave behind that old mind-set that your job-related skills or length of service are selling factors. Think of yourself as a mini profit-and-loss center rather than just a prospective employee. Employers today buy results and are less impressed with candidates promoting a laundry list of skills. Instead, define the many ways your past and present job performance have been assets to your employers — just as they will be for your next employer.

Your resume should be a hard-hitting sales tool designed to accomplish one goal: Get the interview. To demonstrate this, add a specific achievements list to your resume. Whittle your bottom-line achievements down to your biggest, most notable accomplishments. Now, describe the benefit your employer gained from each example. This will put you several steps ahead of your job-seeking competitors. Plus, you’ll have your talking points ready for that next phone interview.

Emphasize Your Contribution to the Bottom Line

Hiring managers categorize desirable employees into one of two distinct groups: those who make money and those who save money. For example, Jim works as a lead-generation specialist for the marketing department of a direct-mail provider. His role is to use specialized software to research lists of names to develop the best prospects for the company’s future marketing programs. Therefore, although he doesn’t actually make the sale, each lead Jim generates has a dollar value, because one out of every 20 of these leads will produce a sale.

Rethink your current or past jobs to understand your position in the bigger corporate profit-and-loss picture. Collect specific examples of the benefits your company gains from your work. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

• How did my work improve the performance of my department or company?

• How many roles did I perform that saved the company the expense of added employees or contractors?

• How has my work made the work of others (employees and managers) easier, faster and more effective?

Develop several specific examples of how you benefit your company by making money or saving money, and then incorporate them into your resume.