I created my business slogan “Unleashing your career with the power of words” many years ago as it resonated with me. Words have always had power. They can hurt someone’s feelings, they can wield power by inspiring decision makers to act. Politicians, spin doctors, advertising professionals and product marketeers have known the secret for decades: to get customers to buy and remain loyal they need to use the words that paint a picture and grasp the attention of the buyer.
Consider this excerpt from Sir Winston Churcill’s famous speech “Their Finest Hour”
…..If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: “This was their finest hour” ‘.
Too many people write passively and that is a surefire way to place a wall between the reader and the information you are trying to convey.
Imagine “Their Finest Hour” as many people write their own resumes:
“I think that you should be aware that things will be quite difficult very soon and if we don’t contribute to the team effort the situation could become very bad for a long time. It is important that everyone contribute to the project at hand to make a long-term difference.
Just not quite the same call to attention is it? Fails somewhat in inspiring people to fight for a cause!
Consider then a job seeker who is hoping to create excitement in his or her services by listing job duties in a résumé like this:
- Fixing computer equipment for customers
- Calling customers to provide quotations
- Meeting deadlines.
These examples are far from inspiring. They don’t command attention, they do not have power, they do not explain how competent the job seeker is or if he or she adds value for the employer. These is a definite disconnect between what the job seeker is telling the reader of the résumé and what that person actually wants to hear!
On the other hand, consider this:
- Continually surpassed all established deadlines for resolving glitches on computerised equipment under warranty. Repair average of 4 hours from diagnosis to resolution compared favourably with company set deadline of 6 hours and a record of zero returns following repair.
- Scored highest in the repair team for customer satisfaction, rating high in areas of accuracy of information, quick response and strong technical knowledge when providing quotations and feedback on issues.
These are the type of words that inspire a decision maker to act. Accomplishments are outlined and presented in a compelling manner and tell about the how and why and give numbers that speak volumes.
Unleash YOUR career…with the power of words.