Your resume is the first source of information a potential employer has about you. It is vital then that your resume creates good impressions of yourself to an absolute stranger.
This task is slightly more challenging for fresh graduates because sometimes it may feel like you have no idea how to write a good resume. Here are 5 common mistakes marketing fresh graduates make in their resume and how they can fix it!
1. Forgetting that your resume is a marketing tool
And that you are the product you are trying to sell! You must view yourself as the product you want to market and sell. This may sound a little harsh; you are after all a person not an object. But still, lots of marketing techniques and approaches can be used to write a winning resume.
As a marketing grad, your resume is the most important marketing document you will write. By using the same principles of creating a great marketing campaign, you can create a resume that stands out from the crowd.
2. Not knowing your target
You could never plan a marketing campaign without first knowing your target audience. The same with your resume! If you don’t know who will be reading your resume and what is it that they need, how then could you create a resume that meets their needs.
Once you know who will be reading your resume, you can mould it so that what you convey in your resume appeals to them. In order to do this you will need to know about the type of job and company you are applying at.
You will have to consider things like the role you will be playing, the size of the organization, the industry they operate in, as well as their needs when preparing a resume. Once you have answered these questions, you will know which of your skills to highlight, the keywords to use and traits they will find most appealing. Include those in your resume!
3. Not knowing your value proposition
Each of you has a unique blend of skills, characteristics and experiences that are different from every other job seeker out there. This unique blend is what your value proposition is.
To develop a value proposition, think about what you are good at. What makes you stand out from other applicants and then emphasize it. Maybe you are good at writing headline grabbing articles, or you have some mad video editing skills or you’re a social media god/goddess. Use these skills to set yourselves apart.
In large part though, your value proposition is based on the job you are applying for and where. That is why point #1 is so important. Your resume objective should serve as your value statement. Use this section to summarize your key strengths and value you can bring to your potential employer. It is also a nice way to personalize an application.
4. Not having a messaging strategy
As a future marketer you should know that you can’t run a marketing campaign without a clear strategy in mind. In that way, you can’t write a good resume without first determining your messaging strategy. You have identified your audience and their needs, now you have to create a strategy to deliver your message.
Think about how you will best structure your resume. What are the keywords you want to use? What kind of design and layout will you be using to reinforce your message? For example, you will want a layout that is creative yet clear and logical in sequence. How are you going to achieve this?
All these decisions must be made before you even start writing and be made with your target audience in mind. This way you know that you resume will immediately strike a chord when prospective employers read it.
5. Focusing on features, not benefits
An inexperienced marketer can make the mistake of focusing on features instead of benefits when trying to sell a product. The resume equivalent of this is it focuses too much on job responsibilities and skills (like giving a laundry list) but forgetting to highlight the values that you can bring forth to the company with the skills you have.
In order to hire you, companies need to know that you will boost their business by selling more. It is not enough to just tell them what you have achieved but will also have to show them what and how you have achieved it. They want evidence of strong performance so give it to them.
As recent graduates you would have had one – hopefully more- internships and clubs/activities that you would have joined while in college. Use stats and figures to quantify your accomplishments and the value you added to these organizations.
Creating a resume may feel like a complicating task but it does not really have to be that difficult. You just have to spend some time thinking about what you want and what you want your employers to know about you and work on that. If you’re feeling a little lost, here are some examples that might be of some help.
Source: The Resume Boutique (image)