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Five Questions: Adwoa M. Jones

Adwoa M. Jones is Founder & CEO of Crystal Clear Interviews, a job interview coaching program teaching talented professional women how to interview and get hired in any job interview, in any economy. She recently released her Free “Irresistible Interviews Blueprint: 5 Breakthrough Strategies To Interview For A Job And Motivate The Hiring Manager To Say Yes!”

On June 20, she imparted her expertise to at Women For Hire’s Nationwide Online Career Fair. We’ve compiled some of the most popular questions and her answers.

1) How do I stand out more on paper?

Your resume is not about you, it’s about what you can do for them. Hiring managers are looking for specific knowledge, skills and experience for a specific position. So your resume should tell them in 30 seconds or less (a) what you know (knowledge) (b) what you can do (skills) and (c) what you have done (experience) that specifically matches that job. Say goodbye to your generic resume and create a compelling resume that markets you for that particular job. First, add a “Profile” or “Qualifications” section that lists 3-5 bullet points highlighting only the specific knowledge and skills listed as “Requirements” in the job description. Next, list 3-5 bullets for each position with “only the specific experience and accomplishments that match the job. Finally, you can even use LinkedIn to get brief recommendations from previous bosses and add a “Recommendations” section with a 1-2 line testimonial from a previous manager endorsing you as the rock star you really are.

2) How do I create a resume that reflects transferable skills if I want to switch careers?

Most skills are transferable, but if you haven’t held the exact job the recruiter is hiring for, you have to work extra hard to spell it out for them on your resume. Highlight these transferable skills in three places. First, in your “Profile” or “Qualifications” section, e.g. 8 years building relationships and influencing leaders. Next, in your “Work Experience,” e.g. “Championed initiative to influence 60+ managers to….” This will highlight your ability to influence senior executives, for example. Finally, a strong recommendation from a previous manager stating you have the transferable skills your prospective employer is looking for will go a long way.

3) How do I address gaps of employment?

Women tend to have more gaps in employment than men do. Use this as an opportunity to let your personality shine through on your resume. List your gaps between jobs as personal development, maternity leave, family leave, personal travel etc. Add 1-3 bullet points describing interesting knowledge, experience and accomplishments you achieved while away from the workforce, such as courses you took or volunteer and community activities that show you are active, enthusiastic and willing to learn.

4) How much information should an older job applicant with 10 years + experience include?

If I like my coffee with 2 teaspoons of sugar, offering me coffee with 6 teaspoons of sugar does not motivate me to buy it. In other words, your goal is not to list all of your experience, but to list what is relevant to the position you’re going for. Giving more of something a recruiter doesn’t want or need is of no value. Although you may have 10 years+ experience, go through your resume and keep only the experience that is a match for what they need and you will position yourself as a strong applicant for the job.

5) How do I manage my career search if I have varied experience and skills?

It’s best to have multiple resumes on file for different types of positions you will be interviewing for. The biggest mistake you can make is to have a generic one-size-fits-all resume that lists all your varied skills and experience. Each resume should be custom tailored for that specific position highlighting only the experience the recruiter or hiring manager is seeking. Don’t confuse them with all the unnecessary details. Make it easy for the recruiter to take one look at your resume and know you can do that specific job and do it well.