Unarmed: a resume that lacks a professional profile section - a summary at the top of page 1 that highlights information about you that is most relevant and powerful towards your job target.
Well armed: a resume that captivates the reader with a professional profile that clearly, concisely and compellingly conveys your unique personal brand, energy, value proposition, skills and strengths - again, with relevance to your target.
Armed and dangerous: a resume that contains plagiarized content or cliché.
Originality and energy sell; pretentious boilerplate does not.
Recently a prospective client emailed me his existing resume to be evaluated for a possible rewrite. I was sure I’d seen a similar profile section in a sample resume.
When I googled a chunk of his profile content, I easily found the sample resume that I had seen. It was on the website of a well known resume writer. Whole sections of her sample document had been copied verbatim into his resume.
Several months ago, I ran into a similar situation with a client’s existing resume. I found the same branding statement as hers online in several people’s resumes and/or LinkedIn profiles.
Recruiters will notice these similarities, too. Even if the plagiarism isn’t detected, the cliché itself will be dreary and unpolished.
Prevent resume pitfalls: plagiarism and cliché.
If you’re a professional developing your own resume, by all means review sample documents for ideas for your own resume structure. Never copy hunks of content from other people’s work.
If you’re working with a professional resume writer, note the way in which the writer acquires information from you. There should be a clear connection between the info you provide and what shows up in the resume drafts the writer presents to you.
This applies to all sections of your resume. The only way that a professional resume writer can legitimately develop your content is to work with you to develop and perfect every line of it.
Your UNIQUE value - your brand - is showcased in your UNIQUE resume profile.
To create your professional profile, the resume writer must interview you extensively to understand and articulate:
- Your personal brand - your unique value as represented by your style, personality, energy and professional reputation - what people think of when they hear your name.
- Your value proposition - how you can and will help the company make money and achieve its other primary organizational objectives.
- Your key skills, strengths, qualities and areas of consistent achievement.
Your resume’s professional profile section should be an original, powerful selling tool that combines with your professional experience to generate excitement, interest and interviews with targeted employers.
You get one shot at a first impression on a prospective employer. Don’t be unarmed. Don’t be armed and dangerous. Don’t be fooled - and don’t try to fool the employer with any aspect of your resume. If discovered, you will not be considered for employment.
Don’t allow your resume to be any less interesting and valuable than you are. Because you are an accomplished, multifaceted professional with unique value, your resume must also be distinguished, multidimensional and distinctive.