In an increasingly competitive job market, the importance that having a well-constructed resume can have on your loss prevention career cannot be overstated. The resume provides a summary of an individual’s experience, education, skills, and qualifications. However, that is an oversimplification of the power that this document carries and the potential impact that it can have on your career development plan. As such, it is imperative to have a professional resume that contains the right information, allowing you to stand out from the countless other candidates that potential employers will be looking at during the search process.
First impressions count, and often the first impression that a potential employer will have of you will depend on how you present yourself through your resume. In this respect we are typically reminded that a potential employer will often have a mountain of paperwork to sort through as they review prospective candidates for a position. As a result, it’s surmised that they my only take a few moments to “glance” at a resume before moving on to the next, and the resume has to be constructed to “catch their attention” and make an impression. All of the years you’ve spent working and studying, all of your accomplishments and experience, and all of the effort that you’ve put into building a successful loss prevention career must be appropriately represented in your resume.
Understand the Value
Many candidates tend to minimize the importance of the resume in the overall hiring process. They surmise that a resume alone won’t get them a job, rationalizing away the need to “provide too many details”. They feel that once they get into the interview process that they can convince the hiring parties that their skills and capabilities make them the best choice. The primary fault in that thinking, however—is that you have to get in the door first. You can’t make an impression if you’re never given the opportunity.
It’s absolutely correct to state that a resume alone won’t typically get anyone a job. Hiring decisions are progressive, and there are many things that go into the overall process. However, while a good resume doesn’t guarantee a bad candidate a job, a bad resume can certainly cost a good candidate an opportunity for the position of a lifetime.
It’s true that too many details can hamper a resume. Readers can get bogged down by wordy descriptions and information overload, losing interest as a result. But it’s not the quantity of words that we use, rather the quality of our statements that set the tone. Choosing our words wisely speaks volumes about our overall ability and understanding of who we are and what we do.
Bring it to Life
A resume isn’t simply a compilation of job titles or job descriptions. It is a forum for roles, responsibilities, skills, competencies, and accomplishments. It should bring your loss prevention career to life in the eyes of anyone reading the document and make them want to meet the person described on these pages.
Let’s compare a couple of simple examples:
Loss Prevention Manger: Apprehend shoplifters, conduct internal investigations, conduct operational audits, run the safety committee. Hold monthly inspections of alarm systems and equipment. Hold employee orientations, awareness training, and other meetings to reduce retail shrink results…
Loss Prevention Manger: Development and implementation of loss prevention, audit, and safety programs for a $40 million retail store leading a staff of 6 employees. Working together with store management and associates, our team was able to reduce and maintain retail shrink at .8% of sales…
Which loss prevention manager would you offer a job interview? In the first example, we are simply providing a description of the job. Anyone reading this resume already knows what a loss prevention manager does, and doesn’t need a refresher on the job description.
In the second example, we are describing what we accomplished, using simple wording that supports action, leadership, teamwork, business acumen, and real-world results. It’s accurate, concise, and insightful. It applies at every level of professional development. We don’t need gimmicks or shortcuts—we need strategy and common sense. This is what gets you in the door and sets the tone for any discussions that follow.
Consider your resume to be your personal marketing brochure. Most often, this is the document that will determine who decision makers will interview. It should grasp the employer’s attention and to give them the information they need to bring you to the next step in the hiring process. A well-written and well-formatted resume tells the employer a lot about your professionalism, and improves the chances of receiving a job interview.
When building a successful loss prevention career, simple steps can help us bring talents to the forefront. Learning these basic rules can help validate your talents and abilities, keep you on the right path, and prepare you for what lies ahead.
For more information on loss prevention careers, visit www.lpjobs.com.
This article was originally published in 2015 and was updated October 18, 2016.