First and foremost you need to understand that a job-winning Resume is a SALES TOOL.

When you hand someone your great Resume you want to sell yourself into that job. How do you do that? Simple: You sell yourself on the BENEFITS OF HIRING YOU.

So just how can you benefit someone by hiring you? Showing that you’ve had a bunch of previous jobs? Nope. That you don’t take long lunches? Nope. That you’ve earned a college degree? Nope.

Prospective employers want to know three things: 1) If they hire you will they make more money? 2) If they hire you will their job get easier? And 3) If they hire you will they look smart? See the connection? Future bosses want to know what YOU can do for THEM.

So how do you show them? By using your job-winning Resume to showcase your past accomplishments and achievements.

Why is this so crucial? Because past performance equals future performance. And that is one gold-plated secret to writing a great Resume.

Let’s say you increased sales by 60% in your last job. Chances are good that you can repeat this. Or say you streamlined efficiency and saved a boatload of money at a previous job. Odds are you can do it again. Or maybe you consistently bring in projects under budget and ahead of schedule. Well then, this fact makes you a very desirable commodity.

See the connection?

The simple truth is that facts speak louder than words. No one can argue with facts. Let the facts of your past accomplishments and achievements speak up for you. It’s not bragging if you did it.

Ready for another secret? This one is more subtle and plays out on a deeper psychological level. So here it is: a great Resume should be light and airy and easy to scan.

Just put yourself in a prospective employer’s shoes for a moment. He or she reads dozens of resumes a week hoping to find really great employees. This person starts out by quickly scanning the resume, just hoping to get hooked into reading more. Thick blocks of text don’t help (reminds them of some dull book). Long and convoluted sentences don’t help. Boring doesn’t help (they already know what job duties are, what they want to know is how well you performed your job duties).

Make it easy for someone to easily glance over your great Resume and then decide to read more or move on. This presents you as a professional who values their time. And that’s something they’ll appreciate.

Ready for another secret? Here it is: Research your prospective employer. That’s right, find out as much as you can about what your future employer wants in a perfect employee. Why? Because once you draw the target you can fill your job-winning Resume with arrows aimed directly at the bullseye.

To put it another way, do not create a generic resume promising to be all things to all people. Once you know what a prospective employer wants you can highlight all of your particular skills and abilities and accomplishments that make the case for hiring you for this one particular job.

And you should do that for each individual employer. Yes, it’s more work, but your goal here is to find that one wonderful career that will keep you happy and fulfilled.

Lastly, please don’t worry about fancy formats or beautiful fonts or action adverbs or punchy adjectives. Prospective employers know all the tricks. Grab their attention by showcasing all of your great accomplishments and achievements in an easily-readable way.

The truth is employers really want to hire great people. Show them what great things you did in the past and how you’ll continue doing great things in the future!

Now on to Resume Formats.