How to Sell Yourself in Your Resume

3 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Preparing a Resume

Successful resumes don’t just tell about your qualifications — they sell you as the ideal package. In selling yourself through your resume, you instill excitement by selling your relevant qualifications for the job. The key is to list your background facts in such a way that the employer views them as benefits.

How much are you worth to employers? Your resume inspires their first best guess, so you want to make sure it’s a compelling portrait of your strengths and skills. Help employers see not only what you were responsible for but how well you did it, why it mattered, and how you can make that success happen for them.

Here's an example of telling it vs. selling it. Pretend you’re in the market for replacement windows in your home. Which of the following two messages would better tweak your interest in taking a closer look at the company?

The Turner Group has been in existence replacing windows for 30+ years at the same easy-to-find showroom. We offer 25 different models and window sizes — a choice to fit every home and budget.
The Turner Group has been assisting homeowners to protect their home values with 25 models of high-quality replacement windows at discount prices — and in all sizes — since the mid-1970s.

The first statement is an example of telling it; the message is “look at us!” The second statement is an example of selling it, and its message is “here’s what we can do for you.”

One way to sell your value and your benefits to an employer who has the power to hire you is to get specific. Communicate the importance of what you’ve done by using details — numbers, names, achievements, outcomes, volume of sales or savings, and size of contracts, for example.

Here are several examples of the sell-it strategy for resumes.

Tell It Sell It
Supervisor of HR generalist and recruiting functions for 10 years at company headquarters. Supervisor with 10 years’ successful management of 6 HR generalists and 3 recruiters for regional company with 3 administrative offices and 8 manufacturing plants.
Worked as network administrator with responsibility for administration and troubleshooting. As network administrator, created in excess of 750 user scripts, installed 16 workstations, administered security codes to 350 clients, supervised installation of company-wide Microsoft Office 2007 Pro, and regularly solved stress-causing malfunctions in operating system and software.
Leading sales rep for new homes in prestigious development in year when housing market began to cool. In a cooling housing market (off 11% from previous year), became number-one sales rep, selling $7,800,000 in 12 months — 13 homes at $600,000 floor.
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