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Make your candidacy stand out in a crowded job market by writing a personal resume statement. No longer is it necessary to lead off with a traditional one- or two-sentence objective that doesn't grab an employer's interest. A personal resume statement is essentially a bolder, punchier answer to the question, "Why should I hire you?" In crafting one, think of it as the printed equivalent of your 30- to 60-second "elevator speech."
Analyze Your Employer's Needs
Consider the prospective employer's needs before you start writing. Evaluate the experiences, skills and characteristics that your industry values most, and jot them down. Then think of times where you helped a past employer make or save money. Include specific dollar figures and details to drive home the value of hiring you. For example, you could say something like, "Seasoned project manager and problem-solver who's saved my employer X million dollars in completing Y amount of projects in Z years."
Assess Your Personal Qualities
Choose an adjective that best describes you. Whether you consider yourself courageous, resilient or tenacious, make sure it's a striking enough word to lead off your statement, states Monster in its article, "Replace the Resume Objective with a Personal Brand Statement." Alternatively, pick a strong verb. Then identify other qualities that set you apart -- whether it's communication skills, leadership abilities or special talents, like a second language. If you feel stuck, get help from friends, family members and colleagues.
Polish Your Ideas
Assemble the rough ideas you've written down, and identify which ones seem most relevant to your statement. To help organize your ideas, follow a formula of "Skills+Personality+Passion+Market Needs," which is one of many alternatives recommended by Quintessential Career's article, "Branding Your Resume: Tips for Job-Seekers." The final choices you make depend on your profession and the message you're trying to convey. For example, a senior marketing manager might say, "Positioned for leadership through accomplishments in finance, accounting and customer service in a Director of Finance capacity," followed by a key detail or two describing his achievements.
Proofread One More Time
Place your personal statement at the top of your resume, so that it catches a hiring manager's eye. Choose a bold font for added impact. To make sure you're offering a consistent message, reread your final statement several more times. Proofread it for spelling and grammar errors, proper sentence structure and word choices. Also, read your statement aloud to see how it flows. A well-written statement provides a potential employer with a condensed snapshot of your career achievements, distinctive qualities and potential benefits of hiring you. Ask others to read what you've written, as well. Once you're satisfied, move on to the remainder of your resume.
Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.
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