When you are job searching, think of your resume as a marketing tool. Use it to promote your talents and capture the attention of hiring managers.
Your job search is actually a marketing and sales campaign. Your goal? Identify and contact prospective customers (employers) who will buy (give you a paycheck).
Everything you do up to the job interview is marketing. Everything during and after the interview is sales.
Let's examine the first half of that sequence, specifically, how to use your résumé as a marketing tool designed to land an interview.
Here are three ways to use your résumé effectively.
1) As the basis for your LinkedIn profile.
Employers and potential networking contacts will research you on LinkedIn before ever talking to you. What will they find?
Never be bashful about including the best parts of your résumé on your LinkedIn profile. That means plenty of specific achievements, and a clear focus on one job or a narrow set of skills.
2) As a follow-up device.
Let's say you just made a new networking contact, in person or online. If the conversation went well and that person agreed to take a look at it, you can e-mail your résumé - it's a fast way to follow up and get your name in circulation.
Want to be more memorable? Print and mail your résumé, along with a nice letter to thank him or her for the time. Because a postal letter shows you took the time to send a thoughtful communication - and it can't get caught in a spam filter.
3) As a script for your sales presentation.
Remember, in a job interview, your aim is to convince hiring managers to "buy" your services in the form of a paycheck. Why leave anything to chance?
Refer to your résumé as you interview and put a check mark next to each key bullet point after discussing it. Having a script like this to follow can be a great stress reliever and it ensures you'll deliver a complete "sales" presentation to employers.
Your résumé is a marketing tool, plain and simple.
Used correctly, it should compel harried employers to read it, pick up the phone and call you to learn more.
And when you use your résumé as a foundation for your LinkedIn profile, as a follow-up device and as a job-interview script, you'll enjoy three more advantages in your search for work.