I am an avid fisherman. Drop me off at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops and I can spend 2-3 hours in the fishing section looking at all the different types and styles of lures. Over the years, I have spent thousands of dollars on devices designed to attract and catch fish. Anyone who has spent time fishing has heard the saying, “Fishing lures are designed to catch fishermen.” Any lure you find is available in eight sizes and 14 colors. Talk to any fisherman who spends time on the water and they all have their favorites. Twelve fishermen will have 12 different “baits” that they swear work better than anything else. The bottom line is that they are “sold” on their lure because the benefit for them is that it catches more fish, which provides more enjoyment for their money.

Maximum return on their investment.

Ever thought about how your resume is like the newest crankbait from Rapala? Whether you’re selling to people or an organization, both are looking to buy benefits. The benefit of the newest Rapala is that it’s supposed to catch more fish = more enjoyment = greater ROI for the money spent. The benefit of your resume should be that hiring you = save the company money or = generate more money.

Every fisherman’s tackle box is filled with lures that go through the water and look great but do not catch fish.

The job market is filled with resumes that go through the online job market and look great but will never help someone land a job. The are millions of resumes out there in the 8 sizes and 14 colors just like fishing lures. They are often written to “catch” the person they are about, but not necessarily an employer.

Here are some tips for writing a resume that will catch an employer:

  1. Your resume needs to be written so that it expresses the benefits of hiring you. Those benefits need to be presented in a way that lists the accomplishment first and how you achieved it second.
  2. Your resume needs to include your value proposition or “Benefit Statement” of why an employer should hire you.
  3. Your resume should be “tweaked” to match each unique job description you’re applying for.
  4. The length of your resume is not as important these days. But if your resume is longer than three pages, consider shortening it.
  5. The resume is a higher-level view of the benefits someone would gain from hiring you. It is NOT a day-to-day, blow-by-blow account of everything you do.
  6. Every great corporation has a brand. Do you have personal brand? Does your resume express it?
  7. The question you are trying to answer in your resume is, “Why should I hire this person?” Continually ask yourself that question while composing your resume.
  8. Tables, boxes, pictures, logos, etc., all make your resume look great and might give you a sense of self satisfaction. But will it catch an employer? Unless you are looking for a design position, the likely answer is, “No.”

As I have found while fishing on Lake Erie, when it comes to walleye and fishing lures, there are thousands of choices. For me a gold worm harness is the best tackle in the box and my “go-to” choice every day, all year long.

Are you the “go-to” choice that an employer is looking for? You can be. It’s entirely up to you.

Fish On!

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