There’s no better ROI for a resume writer than winning or being nominated for a Toast of the Resume Writing (TORI) award.
Ask any winner or nominee about the value, and they will then proceed to tell you how it:
- Changed their business virtually overnight,
- Was the best publicity they have ever received, and
- Has allowed them the luxury of picking and choosing their clients.
That’s a lot of value from simply being recognized for creating a dynamic, visually-distinctive, and powerfully written resume!
Each year professional resume writers from around the world compete to win a TORI award in one of the (now) ten separate categories. While fictionalization and work done solely by the resume writer are required, there are some key bits of advice that we can share to help TORI hopefuls compete to showcase their skills and win:
Recognize that not every candidate will have the accomplishments worthy of a TORI.
Look for candidates who have strong metrics (savings, profits, improvements, growth) and CAR (challenge, action, results) stories to ensure the content is available to create a dynamic document.
Focus the summary section on bottom-line branding.
Don’t waste time with fluffy overviews that don’t make the candidate’s resume stand out or specific examples that make him/her seem to be a one-trick pony. Instead, look to express how the candidate is a bottom-line contributor and express that unique selling proposition.
Use dynamic and engaging language throughout the document with an emphasis on avoiding repetition.
A winning resume has no room for “responsible for” or “responsibilities include”, or use of weak verbs like, “did” or “had”, or for repetition of general verbs like “manage”.
Don’t just tell but sell in the job descriptions by leading with a hook.
The hook is quite simply the challenge or goal of the position. Engage the reviewer with what the candidate was tasked with accomplishing and this will create deeper value for any bullets or content that comes after.
Cross the bridge with language and wording used for the target audience.
If the candidate is changing professions, the content should be written toward that new profession whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to tweak words, language, and slant of experience (aka “cross the bridge”) to make experience relevant.
Balance white space to create an attractive document.
Never leave one or a few words dangling on a single line, or a few sentences or paragraphs alone on a page. Rewrite to create better balance and presentation. Further, look for all opportunities to balance page content to create uniformity and aesthetics.
Don’t be afraid to play with layout, colors, and with MS Office tools.
With an open mind, and MS Word, today just about anything is possible to create a visually distinctive resume. This won’t happen immediately but requires thought, practice, and play. Also spend time studying past TORI winners to understand what others are doing.
Focus on results.
Turn responsibilities into value-packed stories by focusing on always using CAR stories to explain the challenge, action, and result of a job function. Don’t be afraid to support these with attractive charts and graphs for visual pop.
Put equal weight on both written content and presentation.
The resume could be the best written or the most visually distinctive and still not win. We see beautiful resumes that don’t even get nominated because others were far better written. Focus on balancing the two as it must do both to give you the best chance at winning.
Don’t get dinged by an easy mistake.
Start viewing each resume you write as a possible TORI entry. Put aside ones that are promising and plan to make the time for getting client approval, performing fictionalization, and ensuring you are using top design and writing standards. That way you can blaze your trail!
There are only 29 days left to enter the 2019 competition: make them count!
The following lessons, tools, and resources are free to CDI members:
TORI Resume Strategies: Executive Career Portfolio Resumes with Mary Elizabeth Bradford (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Resume Formatting Magic Tricks & Charts in MS Word with Marie Plett (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Elevate Your Resume Formatting from Blah to Brilliant (using MS Word) with Cheryl Lynch Simpson (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Mind Control via Emotional Resonance with Donald Burns (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Visual Branding in MS Word with Cheryl Lynch Simpson (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Intake Process with Tiffany Hardy (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Story Telling & Branding with Kim Robb Baker (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Headlines & Branding Statements with Laura Smith-Proulx (Video Master Class)
TORI Resume Writing Strategies: Step-by-Step Creative Logos with Marie Plett (Video Master Class)
Value of Visual & Creative Resumes with Laura DeCarlo & Marie Plett (Video Tip)
Is the Resume Really Dead? with Laura DeCarlo, Marie Plett & Audrey Prenzel (Video Tip)
Secrets to Writing New Graduate Resumes (Video Lesson) – follow up to core lesson above
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