A resume is meant to shine! It’s your personal marketing piece that can open the door to a wonderful career opportunity. Empowering your resume means creating something that’s impressive, honest and easy to read. It should be visually attractive, without being distracting. The buzz should be about the professional content in your resume, not a font that’s too small to see or a graphic that’s irrelevant. It’s extremely important to gather the facts that you wish to include on your resume, before you begin to write. Think of it as a rehearsal before the performance. Before getting started with writing your resume, consider taking these important steps:
You want to create a resume that will present you as the best candidate for the job you’re applying for, versus just generically presenting your background. The key is to market yourself as the expert you are, who is highly qualified to hold the position you want.
It’s important to gather all your professional information, taking the time to confirm you have the right titles, dates for your jobs and graduations, as well as accurate degree and certificate information. Being crisp and precise on your resume is well worth the time and effort. It should also match your LinkedIn page.
The next step is to create a resume “map” which will ultimately lead you to your final resume. Start your map by organizing your professional information and writing everything out on paper. Start at the beginning with your education and earliest jobs and end in the present. I know, it sounds old school and it is – but, it works!
Include everything. Even write down the jobs that may have been too short or too long ago. Work on this over a few days and try to remember the specifics. These fine points won’t all be included in your resume but reviewing them will help you to figure out what aspects of your background will be the best to use.
Don’t include such personal information as date of birth or marital status. Keep it professional.
Get granular! Be sure to include metrics, awards or any accomplishments that are relevant and make you proud. These details will also be great talking points once you get to the interview.
The final step is organizing the information into a well formatted resume. There are many format choices, including creating your own. Your goal is to write a resume that will present you as the best candidate for the job. As you study the resume map you’ve created, begin to select the information you would like to include and what’s best to eliminate. Visualize what content and appearance will represent you best. Typically, the most popular resume formats are:
· Chronological – This configuration is perfect if you would like to display your work history in date order.
· Functional – If you’re changing careers or have gaps in your work history, this is an excellent selection. It’s a resume format that focuses on skills and talents versus a timeline.
· Combination – A Combination style resume will afford you the chance to present your background with a little bit of both.
8. Be sure to select a font that is professional looking, easy to read and not too small. Utilizing white space is also helpful. Don’t be overly concerned about a resume spilling over onto 2 or 3 pages if the content is applicable.
There are literally hundreds of variations of excellent resumes. You’re only limited by your imagination. An empowering resume presents you as a professional, is easy to read, and tells a compelling story that speaks to the reader.
With a career spanning over 25 years, Lisa Chubinsky, CPC, CTS is a Partner with Philadelphia based New River Search LLC. She is a veteran Recruiter, Industry Speaker and expert in the areas of Contingency and Retained Searches, as well as Contracting. During the search process, Lisa works directly with senior leadership. Her clients include companies of all sizes including large Global Corporations and Mid-Market PE Portfolio companies.