[Photo by photos8.com] 

This post is the second in my 'How to Write a Resume' series. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.

In my first post, I talked about the importance of feeling employers' pain - knowing your audience is a crucial first step to writing a resume that really works.

Now we're going to move on to the second step - knowing exactly how you can address that pain.

What's Your Value Proposition?

We've all been asked that old interview question: 'why should I hire you?' Most people dread it, but actually, knowing the answer to that question is central to succeeding with your resume (and your job search).

You already know what employers are looking for. Now you have to figure out what you have to offer (bonus points if you figured out that step #3 in this series will be matching the two!)

In my e-course, 'The DIY Guide to Writing A Killer Resume', I take readers through a step-by-step process for pinpointing a clear and compelling value proposition. I can't go into that much detail here, because the post would go on too long, but here are some pointers.

  • Ask yourself how you have added value in past positions?
  • Look for common themes running through your career (are you the person who always comes in to clean up a mess? Or maybe you're the guy who always sees a better way to do things.)
  • Ask co-workers or former managers how they would describe you.
  • Look back over old performance reviews or reference letters and look for common themes.

Once you have identified your value proposition, try to formulate it into a concise sentence or two.

For example, my value proposition is:

I use my HR and recruitment experience, combined with my writing skills and knowledge of marketing, to write resumes and online profiles that grab the attention of recruiters. And because I have a background in training and development, I'm able to write engaging, easy-to-follow courses that teach others how to do the same.

Good marketers never try to sell a product without knowing its unique value proposition first. The exact same rule applies to job search.

Because once you know what makes you different and valuable, you can start figuring out how to match your skills with the needs of potential employers and that's where the resume magic happens!

If a recruiter opens your resume email and sees exactly what his client is looking for, you will get the interview - every time. If you're not getting interviews now, it's because that match isn't clear enough.

So in my next 'how to write a resume' post, I'll talk about how you can marry your knowledge of your target audience with your value proposition to create a resume that recruiters can't resist. If you'd like to be notified when I post it just leave your email address here (no spam ever).