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Have You Ever Googled “How to Write a Resume?”

If you have, you’re not alone! Resume writing seems confusing, and to be honest with you, writing a great one isn’t easy. However, by learning something called “proving value theory,” you will understand resume writing at a much higher level than you previously thought possible. Proving value theory is the answer to  “how to write a resume.”
Proving value theory means: “Resume writers must prove their value to the audience that will read their resumes.”

Most people use resume templates to seemingly simplify the resume writing process; they assume that a resume is merely an obstacle to applying for a job. This assumption is incorrect. A well-crafted resume will not guarantee you employment, but it will guarantee that you make a good impression on your audience.

First Impressions

Take a look at this excerpt about first impressions from an article titled “How to Make a Great First Impression” by the Harvard Business Review:

First impressions matter so much because they happen fast, and they are stubborn, says Whitney Johnson, the author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work. “We make judgments [about other people] in a nanosecond.” And once that impression is formed, it’s “very, very hard to change it.”

Needless to say, we make our judgments quickly, for better or for worse. Most often in the job search process, resumes and accompanying cover letters are the first impression a candidate makes. For this reason, resume writers must apply every resume writing principle to make a critically important well-received first impression.
In order to make a great first impression, craft the resume with your audience in mind. Who will be reading your resume and for what purpose?
For example, a computer programmer applying for a position as a dog walker should use a different, or at least modified, resume than she would use to apply for a computer programming position. If I was hiring someone to walk my dog, I wouldn’t care about her ability to use C++; I would care about her ability to walk my dog. Has she walked a dog before? Is she good with animals?
Consider this (humorous?) graph to understand the importance of making a great first impression:


Proving value means omitting commonly used resume items

Objective statements violate the proving value principle. An objective statement discusses what you want, not what you can do for the employer. Employers know that your objective is to gain meaningful full-time employment, everyone’s objective is similar to this.

This is not to say starting a resume with some sort of statement is bad, but it needs to be a statement that proves value. For example, summary statements and profile statements can tie together a versatile professional’s resume quite nicely. These statements provide the reader with a roadmap of sorts to follow as they digest the content dispensed in the resume.

“References Available upon Request” violates the proving value principle. Most resume professionals would agree that references are unwise to include on a resume anyway, but putting “References Available upon Request” is like saying “Air is Available upon Request.” Of course it is! In no way does it prove value. When deciding how to write your resume, we suggest omitting this statement completely.


What to do with proving value theory?

The next time you write a resume, craft every element of it with your audience in mind. As you keep proving value theory in mind, you will write increasingly powerful content.