Resumes Need a Strong Positioning Statement


The Research Study: How Does Your Résumé Compare? Competitive Career Intelligence for 6-Figure Canadians* found that the introductory piece — the top third — within most résumés assessed could be enhanced further. ResearchStudy.png WHAT EMPLOYERS WANT: Readers initially scan a résumé to determine if the candidate may be appropriate for their requirements. Therefore, the first section of a six-figure candidate’s résumé is the most important and it must position the individual in a concise manner. WHAT TO AVOID: Of the 1,000 résumés assessed, almost all had concerns with the positioning statement. The research uncovered the following issues with the résumés:
  • Non-existent introductory statement — simply listing the candidate’s history.
  • Objective statements “asking for work” rather than “selling value.”
  • Common “cut-and-paste” profile — typical of widely distributed résumé samples.
WHAT TO DO: To compel potential employers to continue reading, there needs to be a persuasive message. The positioning statement is an opportunity to present a hard-hitting sales pitch that communicates the candidate’s distinguishing factors, including value, brand, and marketability. As such, this statement is crucial to driving the reader through the rest of the document.

*Graham Management Group (GMG), a Canadian firm specializing in career-transition solutions for executives, managers, and six-figure professionals, examined and analyzed 1,000 résumés submitted in 2009 to the group by senior-level Canadians. GMG performed the analysis by methodically applying validated strategic résumé principles and theories in a structured manner across all documents. We’re excerpting some results of this analysis over the next several weeks.