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The One Question Your Resume Must Answer

October 23rd, 2015

Your resume will break down your assets as a candidate and describe them, point by point, in separate subheadings focused on your education, your work history, and your specific skill sets. But while each of these separate aspects of your profile will need to be addressed, your primary argument can be summarized with one question: Why should you be hired for this job instead of someone else? What can you bring to this role that no other candidate can? Here are few things to keep in mind as you build your document around this central point.

Answer before you write.

Before you take a single stab at the actual text of your resume, spend some time thinking about this question, and imagine how you might answer in person if you were speaking to an interviewer. What would you describe as you strongest assets? How would you list your most valuable assets? Keep in mind that the two lists may not be identical. For example, you may offer basic proficiency in a critically important skill area, but you may also be a high-level expert in an area that’s of secondary importance.

Separate your skills from your unique skills.

Think about the skills and accomplishments you plan to highlight in your resume and in the text of your cover letter. Then separate these offerings into two categories. If you’re applying for a mid-level accounting job, you may be very proud of your bachelor’s degree in accounting (and you should be), but there’s a strong chance that every candidate in the pool will also hold this credential. What are the skills and traits that truly set you apart? What have you done that few others will also be able to claim?

Keep these unique qualities at the center of your summary.

No matter how you choose to populate the subheadings of your resume document, you’ll need to focus strong attention on your summary, the short descriptive paragraph at the top of the page that most employers will read first. This short, hard-hitting statement should be built around the skills and qualities that help you stand out, not just the ones that help you fit in or meet the basic requirements for consideration. Instead of wasting valuable space in this section by calling yourself a “hard worker” or an “experienced professional”, cut to the chase: what can you bring to the table that nobody else can?

For more tips and tools that can help you create a winning resume and land the job you’re looking for, reach out to the career management team at Merritt.

Overcoming Tough Hiring Challenges

June 12th, 2015

What are some of the toughest hiring and staffing challenges you expect to face in 2015? If you’re like most managers and business owners, some of your biggest hurdles will be industry-specific, but most of them will reflect universal aspects of leadership and management in our modern employment landscape. If you’re addressing difficult issues like the ones listed below, you’re not alone…And an experienced staffing firm like Merritt can help you navigate these rough waters.

Selection and Risk

No matter how carefully you vet each candidate and how many rounds of interviews you hold, you’ll still have to eventually roll the dice. When your applicant pool has been narrowed down to a few final contenders, you’ll have to just make the call and take a leap of faith…and your chosen candidate may not live up to your expectations. In this case, you’ll lose your new employee and you’ll have to start the hiring process over from square one. Here at Merritt, we use a scientifically proven approach to candidate sourcing, selection, and testing, and we can use our methods to help you find your star.

Staying Lean and Flexible

In a perfect world, you could glance into a crystal ball and see far enough into the future to know exactly how your levels of need will expand and contract. You’d see the big rushed orders coming in and you’d be able to predict the lulls, and you could shape your work force accordingly, with plenty of lead time for everyone. But in the real world, workforce shaping isn’t so simple, and just-in-time hiring doesn’t always work according to plan. A great staffing agency understands that you can’t make money with extra hands standing around, but you can’t build a reputation or a respected brand if you dismiss workers indiscriminately. We’ll help you bend without breaking as your business fluctuates.

Managing Staff and Running a Business at the Same Time

Multi-tasking is no easy feat, and nobody understands the value of this skill better than a small business owner. While you lead your teams, train your new employees, staff your positions, and keep everybody paid, you also need to focus on your products and customers. We can help. Let us handle the paperwork, insurance, and tax reporting involved in taking on a new employee. Meanwhile, you can keep your attention where it belongs: on your company.

Finding Rare Skill Sets

Do you need rare unicorns with very specific, overlapping skill sets? Are you having trouble finding these candidates using your current sourcing methods? Let us help. We have the wide network and industry-specific staffing experience necessary to scour the landscape and find the unique job seekers who can meet your needs.

For more on how to face down the hiring challenges that can stand in the way of your growth, contact the staffing and management experts at Merritt Staffing.

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