Post Date: April 10th, 2018

Your resume is too generic

I see this often. People see a phrase written in someone else’s resume or LinkedIn profile and they try to copy it. Slowly, but surely the message is lost and they wind up with something that looks like this:  (I found this online recently; apologies if this belongs to you. Below I offer a suggestion on how to update it).

“Results-oriented, high-energy business professional experienced in leading multiple offices in various locations.”

What does this mean?

What do you think this person does for a living? Do you know? Can you say with any certainty?

What kinds of companies might this person be looking to attract?

What results did she or he achieve for their company?

The thing is, we don’t know. The message is too vague.

Here’s the first thing I do to demonstrate an ineffective strategy.

I ask myself this question: Can this same statement be applied to me and/or anyone else?

Example:

“Results-oriented, high-energy business professional experienced in leading multiple offices in various locations.”

Maureen, are you results-oriented? Yes

… are you high-energy? Yes

… are you a business professional? Yes

… are you experienced? Yes…you get the drift…

If the statements in your resume or LinkedIn could be applied to me (someone clearly outside your industry) that’s a warning your resume is too generic.

Here’s how you might do it differently:

Strategic business developer committed to outperforming competitors and increasing sales. Champion of the [specific] industry with a vision and drive to achieve company growth. 20+ year experience…

Still somewhat generic, but definitely better. To take this to the next level, we might add some context:

  • …billion dollar companies?
  • …industry leaders?
  • …Award-winning?
  • …Nationally recognized?
  • …Global business driver.

Global business driver committed to outperforming competitors and increasing sales in industry-leading multi-billion dollar companies. Award-winning champion of the [specific] industry, nationally recognized for having the vision and drive to achieve company growth. 20+ year experience…

We might want to tighten the language.

Global business driver outperforms competitors, increases sales and delivers $50M profits for multi-billion dollar companies. Award-winning champion, trusted leader and nationally recognized executive with vision and drive to accelerate growth. 20+ year experience…

Let’s compare this to where we started.

BEFORE:

“Results-oriented, high-energy business professional experienced in leading multiple offices in various locations.”

AFTER:

“Global business driver outperforms competitors, increases sales and delivers $50M profits for multi-billion dollar companies.”

If you were hiring someone to lead multiple offices in various locations, which of these candidates would you reach out to first?

A little time spent writing an effective resume and LinkedIn profile today might land you the right opportunity tomorrow. Why risk it with mediocre writing?

Related Categories: Job Search, Online Marketing, Resume, Resume Writer Insider Tip