Resume Writing 101, Class #2
From my first post on this subject, I hope you noticed I used the term MANAGE in describing what you should do with your resume. What did I mean by that you might ask, well it is just this:
Don’t just keep your resume on your computer or tablet only to need it again in five years and realize it was on the hard drive of a device two devices ago. Keep a “Career Management” file in both hard copy and a dedicated external drive (thumb drive is perfect). You should set a calendar reminder for every 6 months to block off an hour and really update your resume. Every six months you should have something new to add to what you have accomplished with your current job, or what new training you have gone through or possibly a promotion that gets highlighted. If you treat your resume like a living breathing document and update it on a regular basis you will find that when you need it again i.e. someone is knocking on your door with a good career opportunity or you feel like you have moved past your current job and want to see what else is out there, it will be up to date and ready to go in a jiffy. I can’t tell you how many potential candidates I have reached out to with a good opportunity who tell me they have to update their resume or even have no idea where their old resume is and have to start from scratch. What I usually get is a half-assed cobbled together mess, and to me it tells me a lot about the quality of that candidate. As stated in Class #1 that resume can be worth a million bucks, treat it that way!
Additional things to consider on your resume:
- No stupid email addresses! Make sure the email address on your resume is easy and professional. I would even encourage you to create an email address that you dedicate only to your career management file and make sure it is tied to your cell phone. That way you know any time you get an email to that account you know it is career related. The last thing you want is a recruiter or company trying to reach out to you only for the email to get lost in the hundreds you get on your everyday address or one you don’t check much anymore.
- Think with Google brain! In my favorite resume template I highly encourage the use of “Key Strength” terms listed with bullet points to easily highlight the key strengths that you think you bring to the table and also match up to the Job Description for the position you are seeking (explained in detail in my seminar). They definitely make the resume “pop” and should catch the eye of the hiring manger but maybe even more important, they make your resume very “searchable”. So, when you write your resume really think about the words (some would say “power words”) that you think both describe you, your talents and your experiences and use them through out your resume so that when someone like me is searching for someone like you, you come up at the very top of the search! Capicse?
- Dates! When I see a resume with career history that only uses the year I am immediately suspicious that the person is trying to hide gaps in their work history. People who often have gaps can (rightly or wrongly) often be perceived as someone who can’t keep a job and it can hurt you. As an example, if you put that you worked for Coca Cola from 2002 to 2006 and then for Pepsi Cola from 2007 to Present, I will immediately wonder if you had a gap. It is possible that you quit Coke at the end of December 2006 and started with Pepsi on January 2nd of 2007 and had a seamless transition, which is great. However, it is also possible you got fired from Coke in March of 2006 and started with Pepsi in July of 2007 a full 16 months later which makes employers curious to say the least. It is always better to put the Month and year and make sure that the perspective employer knows up front that you have gone from one position to the next with a logical and upward career progression. If you do have a gap, it’s better to be upfront about it and just explain the reason behind it.
OK, good for now, Class #3 coming soon!