Before you hit that send button, check to make sure your resume includes the following eight things:
- Are your intentions and goals regarding the position clear? It is important that your summary includes what you want to do now in the job you are applying for. This way, there is no doubt in the resume reader’s mind what your goals are.
- Does your resume give a sense of who you are? Many people have the same qualifications as you, but that doesn’t make them you. Businesses don’t just want a person who is going to do the job well, they also want a person who is going to be a good fit for the company’s culture. We can’t stress this enough… your voice and personality are what set you apart, so include them in your resume.
- Does your story come through in your resume? Just as your personality makes you who you are, so do your experiences. The story of how you got to this point in your career is important, so it should shine throughout your resume: include a brief history in your summary, then flesh it out in the body of your resume, explaining the jobs you’ve had and what you saw and conquered at each.
- Is it clear why you are job-hunting? One of the first questions every interviewer asks is “Why are you looking for a job?” Knowing this gives you an opportunity to be ahead of the curve and include your reasoning for being on the job market in the summary of your resume.
- Do your job descriptions include useful information? Listing the tasks and duties you performed at each job is not only a waste of space, but also a waste of the hiring manager’s time. Instead, give them sustenance by explaining what you changed, fixed, began, improved, or reinvented in each of your positions.
- Are your past missions clear? Each position you accepted during your career helped you complete a portion of your overall mission. It is important that your resume explains what mission you had in each role and how you accomplished it. This lets the resume reader know you aren’t just a task performing robot, but a genuine human with actual goals that you can accomplish.
- Can you see that you’re a problem solver? Including the words “problem solver” among a long list of other skills like “Microsoft Word proficient” doesn’t mean a thing to companies. Instead, you need to show them that you are one. Simply tell your story and include the context of what was wrong, what you did to make things better, and why that was a great thing for you to do.
- Does your resume tell where your career is going? Interviewers want to know where you see yourself in the next years because they want to know that you are committed to furthering your career. Not only do they need to know where you’ve been, but they need to know where you are going.
If your resume reflects who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and where you want to be… you can rest assured that you have a strong resume. Now is the time to hit that send button! Good luck!
Resumes are evolving from boring, still, and plain to something new altogether. While we wouldn’t recommend bright pink font for everyone, we do recommend that you make a few changes to make you and your resume stand out above the rest.
- Put your personality into your resume. Everybody else is going to be using the traditional, stiff, business language. While you should still be professional, use your resume as a tool to let the hiring manager get to know you.
- Let your passion come through. When you figure out what you are meant to do and love to do professionally, you’re going to be excited about it. Show how excited you are about the opportunity in your resume! Make the reader understand that you truly believe you can make a difference by working in the position you are applying for.
- Don’t fall into using keyword-speak. While you need to include keywords in your resume (especially if the first round is computer automated), insert the keywords into human sentences that make sense. Always remember, even though a computer may be reading it first, a human will still be reading it eventually.
If you want to read more on the subject, read this fantastic Forbes article.
When you first sit down to write your resume, it can seem like a daunting task. It probably feels like a resume is a 1-2 page document that includes enough information about you for a 10-page essay. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think.
Organization and prioritization are the true keys to writing a resume that is readable while still saying everything.
Here are five quick steps to get you started:
- Start by writing clear, concise contact information. At the top of your resume, list your name, best contact number, email address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. Do not include your address or multiple phone numbers – this is unnecessary information that just takes up space.
- Next, write a brief self-description. Underneath your contact information, briefly write about who you are and what you have to offer. This section is where you should explain your professional field, the number of years you’ve worked in it, how you got to where you are in your career, why you think you could make a difference in the company, and really let your personality shine. Know that the old-fashioned “Career Objective” is no longer necessary… or wanted. It gives very little context to your resume.
- Include your skills. While you may have a world of skills to offer the company, it’s important that your prioritize and condense them (i.e. being skilled in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook could be changed to being skilled in Microsoft Office). Focus on the skills that you think are most relevant and valuable to the position while being unique to you.
- Write the body of your resume. The body of your resume consists of the jobs that you have worked. Here you will list the jobs you worked, explaining what you changed, fixed, began, improved, or reinvented at each. There is no need to list your duties at each job. This is just a waste of space.
- Lastly, personalize your resume to each company and position. Make sure that your resume includes the specific words and phrases the company uses in their job ad. Do not regurgitate these keywords… instead make sure they fit into your natural sentences.
Now that you have the rough draft of your resume completed, you are ready to move on to the tougher details. Stay tuned for our blog next week on how to tweak your resume to give it a competitive edge.