Napoleon Hill is considered to be one of the pioneer writers of personal-success literature. He was one of the earliest proponents of philosophy-of-success and his book, Think and Grow Rich testifies his authority on the subject. Advocates of personal development refer to his book as a bible and his groundbreaking formulae are still applied by students and aspiring professionals. His works are still subjected to a lot of researches and it has been found that several theories propounded by him can be applied today. His concepts centering on resume writing are relevant today which we will elaborate here.
Resume Writing – Napoleon Hill’s Way
Napoleon Hill did not call the document a Resume or a CV. Instead he called it a “Brief”. His exact thoughts on how important the brief or resume is were:
“This brief should be prepared as carefully as a lawyer would prepare the brief of a case to be tried in court. Unless the applicant is experienced in the preparation of such briefs, an expert should be consulted, and his services enlisted for this purpose. Successful merchants employ men and women who understand the art and the psychology of advertising to present the merits of their merchandise. One who has personal services for sale should do the same.”
Clearly, Hill felt that the content in the resume should present a compelling case to the employer. Afterall, a successful employer would only want to hire a smart employee! He also felt that if one is inexperienced in creating such a document, she should not be shy to take external help.
As the first impression that an aspiring employee creates in the minds of the prospective employers, your resume is of utmost importance. Hill urged young professionals to put in their best efforts to compose a great resume.
Guidelines for creating the best resume
Before writing a resume, you must realize the basic objective of it. A resume should fetch you a job interview and the job subsequently. It is your first chance to make your future employers realize that you can prove valuable to their organizations. Here are some of the essential elements of the resume as Hill felt.
Target your Job – a proper and well composed job objective along with a well-defined Title will set the tone of the resume. Target the role for which you are applying and then compose your title accordingly. The title should be crisp and highlight your experience and skills that make you most suited for the job. Your objective should be very accurate and directed directly to the employer.
“Apply for a specific position. Avoid application for a position without describing EXACTLY what particular position you seek. Never apply for ‘just a position.’ That indicates you lack specialized qualifications. State your qualifications for the particular position for which you apply. Give full details as to the reason you believe you are qualified for the particular position you seek.”
When you apply for a specific profile, your resume Title & Objective are in line with what the employer is expecting. A good title strikes the eye of any hiring manager. So when you apply, apply to the specific role and highlight your Specific Skill which you want to Sell to the employer
Sell your Skill Set – This part will demonstrate to the employers how your skills can be utilized for the post to which you are applying. Again be specific and highlight ALL THOSE SKILLS which the employer is looking for. Don’t make your employer search your resume. Be bold in telling the employer what value you can bring to the company.
Highlight your Experience – The applicant should state the relevant experience she has acquired in his field to substantiate her candidature for the post. All the details about former employers should be included in the resume along with any special experience that makes her most suited for the job.
“If you have had experience in connection with positions similar to the one you seek, describe it fully, [and] state names and addresses of former employers. Be sure to bring out clearly any special experience you may have had which would equip you to fill the position that you seek.”
Mention all relevant Education – It is very important to specifically mention the education and the specialization done by the applicant. The reason behind the specialization should also be clearly explained.
“State briefly, but definitely, what schooling you have had, and in what subjects you specialized in school, giving the reasons for that specialization.”
Also highlight your exact qualifications, additional roles you handled while getting that qualification and in what way can it add value to the role and the company as a whole.
Apply for a specific position – As point #1 stressed, every applicant should apply for a specific position and customize her resume according to that position only. This is extremely important to prove your suitability and also validate your specializations and experiences. In line with this point, the applicant should restructure her job responsibilities to be perfectly in sync with the new role she is applying for.
e.g. This means that if the applicant has donned the cap of both Marketing and HR in her present firm and is applying for a complete HR role now, she should make sure that her HR experience throughout her present experience stands out and is given more prominence than the Marketing one.
Know the employers’ business – Napoleon Hill proved himself to be intuitive when he went on to stress the importance of researching on the company in which the applicants are sending their resumes. Having sufficient knowledge about the business and its visions and applying that knowledge when writing your resume will help the applicant gain the employer’s confidence and increase chances of being hired.
Keep it Neat – Hill also wrote about the importance of having a neat and professional résumé.
“Remember another thing; neatness in the preparation of your brief will indicate that you are a painstaking person.”
Your resume must be free from grammar and spelling errors and it should be pleasing to the eye. Nobody would like to read a dirty looking resume on which the candidate has not put any effort. With an unformatted resume, the employer might be compelled to think that if you cannot write your resume neatly what guarantee will be there with the employer’s work.
Some Conditional Points too:
“Practically every business firm desires to know all about the previous records, antecedents, etc., of prospective employees who seek positions of responsibility. Attach to your brief photostatic copies of letters from:
- Former employers
- Teachers under whom you studied
- Prominent people whose judgement may be relied upon.
- Photograph of self. Attach to your brief a recent, unmounted photograph of yourself.”
These points are not very relevant today, but for some employments a photograph is always required when you are applying for a job. Similarly, few employers always ask for references. So it is best to follow the best practices of your place of residence and craft your resume accordingly.
It is evident that Napoleon Hill was a pioneer in the real sense as most of his ideas are still relevant today and young and aspiring professionals can follow his suggestions in developing resumes that will fetch them interviews and even jobs.