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Resume Writing 101, Class #1

Resume Writing 101, Class #1

Resumes are Important and a document you should MANAGE for your entire career!

Nothing surprises me anymore!  I have seen stellar resumes from people with little experience and a high school diploma and the worst resumes imaginable from candidates with 20 years’ experience holding a PHD.  What do you think a resume is worth?  About a million buck!  Think I’m kidding, in a seminar I give to College students on Career Management I can effectively lay out a scenario where if you “manage your career well” and follow thru with your career objective that over time you get better jobs, get promoted more often and on average earn $25,000 more per year over your career.  Most people work for 45 years of their life.  The math is pretty simple, that’s over a million schmackers (as my grand pappy used to say), and it all has to start with a resume!  1 to 2 pages of text that most people spend less that a couple hours on.  I know with certainty that the better the resume the better the chance of an effective Job Search, like most things the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.  Start here:  

  • Decide upfront that you are not just going to write a good resume, you are going to write a great resume! Block off 10 hours, 2 hours at a time over a week or two to constantly look at it with fresh eyes and tackle it in segments.  It really will make a difference, invest the time!
  • Find a good template. Must be well laid out and conservative.  Don’t fall for anything trendy or flashy and avoid colored text, artistic margins and fancy fonts.  Unless you are an artist or graphic designer the format should be simple and clean.  There are many templates online.
  • If you have less than 5-7 years of experience you should be able to keep it to 1 page. Over that generally 2 pages.
  • Never write paragraphs except a brief paragraph summarizing who you are, what your expertise is and what you have accomplished, and this should be at the top of the 1st page under contact information.
  • Always give a brief 1 to 2 sentence description of the companies you have worked for. You can never assume the reader will know about the company and what they do.  Remember the reader mostly wants to know how your experience matches up to what they are looking for and company information can certainly help.
  • For each job experience, list your duties and accomplishments in bullet points. Clear and concise but with good explanation.  1 sentence for each bullet point, 2 if you really must.

OK, this is a good start.  If you are not finding a template that you like, send me an email at mark@JobsForCatholics.com and I will send you one that has proven to be very effective for many of my candidates and clients.  If you are interested in the Career Management seminar I offer, you can shoot me an email on that as well. 

*Bonus tip* Especially for you Ladies, in today’s online world, you never know who is forwarding your resume to who or what system is getting hacked etc.  There is no reason to put your street address on your resume.  Nobody need to know exactly where you live, most hiring managers just want to know that you are within a commutable distance of their office.  So, the city or suburb name and a zip code easily tells them if you are in the right geography for the job.

Class #2 coming soon!