Workplace Rights

Weekly (1/24/11)

Topic of the Week  Resume Billboard: Highlighting What's Important on Your Resume

• DO put headline in bigger font.
• DO have an opening statement.
• DO list accomplishments & qualifications.
• DON'T forget name & contact info.

Resume Billboard: Highlighting What's Important on Your Resume

We've all seen people who've created billboards or worn sandwich signs on busy downtown street corners in an attempt to get a job. Literally standing out from the crowd is one way to try to get hired, but there are many more proven strategies. Which reminds me of a Springfield, MO man who only had months to live following his bout with colon cancer who started selling advertising space on his urn. Far from crash commercialism, he was doing it to try to raise the $800 to pay for his funeral. He didn't want to leave his wife having to pay a large bill for his funeral after he died.

The good news is that he's already gotten a sponsor. And if you want to sell yourself into the job market, you've got to get a more creative and promotional thought process too. That's why I've listed three Do's and one Don't below to help you differentiate yourself from all the other job seekers out there. For more, check out Catherine Lewell's book, "New Resume, New Career" (Alpha, 2010).

DO put headline in bigger font. Don't make the person reviewing your resume work to figure out who you are and what you can do, sum it up as a headline at the top of your resume. "Award winning creative director looking for new challenges." Just remember, don't lie or mislead with your title, it should be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth or so help you when it blows up in your face.

DO have an opening statement. Commonly called an objective statement. I think this is a strategic part of the resume that most people overlook or take for granted. Don't just use boilerplate language that you read in a resume book, come up with a memorable statement that not only describes the type of work that you're looking for, but say it in a way that actually sounds like it could have come from your mouth.

DO list accomplishments & qualifications. Humility is a very good thing, just not on a resume. Don't assume that they'll connect the dots about all the wonderful things you've done in your career, you need to spell it out for them. Again, being more objective and specific always beats vague statements like increased sales or decreased costs. So include the exact percentage that you increased sales or the dollar amount that you actually eliminated from corporate costs.

DON'T forget name & contact info. I've heard from many HR people and recruiters about candidates who actually forgot to put their name, or contact information, on their resume. Suffice it to say, this is pretty important information, especially if they want to hire you. Important enough, that I put my name and contact details at the top of every page, just in case your resume gets split up during it's travels through the bowels of a corporation.

Follow these resume tips and your career can rise from the ashes.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"To establish oneself in the world, one does all one can to seem established there already."

–Francois La Rochefoucauld

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