After so many years working with clients in their job searches, I have found that I can almost guess what the person’s situation was upon leaving the last position simply by the tone of the resume. Tone of a resume is the feeling that is communicated through the choice of words and the sentence structure used.
The best example of tone I can give you is from literature – Edgar Allen Poe’s work has a distinct tone of darkness and gloom that is projected to the reader by the selection of words, tempo, and structure of his work. Resumes also have tone even if they are not considered works of high fiction (although I’ve seen some that were pretty fictitious). A resume will often project the mood of the writer. If the writer is pessimistic, the resume will be dull and lifeless. If the writer is optimistic, the resume will communicate more positive information about the job seeker.
A job seeker who leaves his job for reasons beyond his control such as a lay-off, a termination, an illness, or untenable work situation will often have significant emotional issues to deal with while searching for a new job. Feelings of anger, frustration, helplessness, worthlessness, and fear are quite common in job seekers who lost their previous jobs rather than left of their own accord. When a job seeker such as this sits down to write his own resume, those feelings have a tremendous impact on the tone of the resume that is produced.
When you feel pessimistic about your career situation, even if it is a temporary situation, it is difficult to see the positive aspects of your qualifications. You may feel like a failure and its hard to paint a word picture of success when you feel like you have nothing to offer an employer. Anger will come through very clearly in the wording of a resume, too. You may feel wronged by your former employer and therefore write about your time there with a jaded slant.
Hiring a professional resume writer will eliminate any possible bad tone coming through in your resume. We resume writers have heard every story imaginable and often function as quasi-counselors in that we give our clients an ear to vent their employment woes while digging for the information we need to write a career marketing document. Sometimes it is necessary to allow the client to get his feelings “off his chest” before we can move forward to what will sell that client to a new employer. The benefit is those feelings do not contaminate the resume writer’s work whereas it would have a profound effect on the resume if it was written by the job seeker.
It is very important to eliminate negativity in a resume and cover letter. Sour grapes will sink a job seeker’s chances faster than the Titanic. Job seekers also need to know to keep sour grapes out of the interview process. Saying negative things about your previous employer will never win you the job. No one wants to hire someone who is stuck in the past and not focusing on the future. Working with a professional resume writer will help you market yourself in a positive way without allowing your emotions to creep in.