Resume Writing 101, Class #3
Have you created your “Career Management” file yet?? If not in about 12 years you will think back and say “man, I should have listened to the recruiter dude!”.
Other things to consider on your resume:
- Each job in your career should have from 4 to 10 great bullet points that describe your responsibilities and accomplishments with the position(s) you had with the company you worked for. If you are going to put the effort in to make a great resume, really take some time and make the most of each bullet point. For example, you could say (and I see this all the time) something related to your responsibility as a Sales Rep that goes like this:
- Responsible for sales growth in my assigned territory. (pardon me while I yawn!)
OR (Drum roll please!!)
- Consistently prospected and closed strategic accounts facilitating a 31% increase in new petroleum sales revenue and expanded the companies geographical service area by 25% from 2006-2008.
Who would you want to interview??
- Education: Whether you have a lot or very little education, build out this section as much as you can. If you have a high GPA’s, list them. If you graduated with honors, say so. If you have a degree from a school that people outside of the geographical area might not be familiar with, use a little space with 2 to 3 sentences telling a little about the school and maybe even why you were attracted to go to that school. In the education section I also like to see any industry certifications you might have especially if they pertain to the position you are hoping to interview for.
- Computer Skills: Especially in todays job market, you must highlight any and all computer skills you have and especially any Programs you are familiar with. Use terms like “basic proficiency”, “proficient” or “expert” to describe your abilities on any programs you see the hiring company is interested or even think they might be interested in.
- Affiliations: If you are not currently a member of the local or national Associations that are in direct relations to the industry you want to work in I would suggest you make that happen. Usually it is a minor annual fee and it shows a perspective employer that you are engaged and care about the field you work in. I might just set you apart from a similar candidate and give you and edge.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER list on your resume that you have your real Estate License, that you are the owner or part owner of another small business or that you are a “consultant” (unless you have been consulting full time for more that 18 months. There is a whole other blog that needs to be written on this!!). You might as well just add a note to the resume that says in bold print that “all you really want is a paycheck and even though I will do my best to show up every day and put my time in, I’m really going to be worried about what I need to do to meet my other work-related responsibilities”. When I see stuff like this on a potential candidate’s resume, I don’t give it a second look and just move on.
- Personal: I really like a personal sections where you say stuff like: Avid reader, Outdoor enthusiast, Pee Wee Football coach for my kids, Active church member with a focus on supporting the local food bank or whatever it is that you are into and gives some interesting aspects of who you are. Some people are reluctant to add a Personal section and the tell me that “well…that’s kind of personal”, and I’m thinking “well duh!!”. I can only tell you that unless you put something really weird or controversial in this section it can only give the person reading the resume some insight to who you and may even identify something you have in common which usually gets an interview off to a more comfortable start.
**Bonus tip** usually with font size, adjustment of margin width and height or other little format tricks you can get your resume to be a perfect 1,2 or 3 pages. If you find that you just can’t make it look right without having 2-3 inches left on the last page, I would not hesitate to put your references in that space. I need to write a whole blog or two on references and reference checks, so look for these down the line!