Is your résumé the best it can be? Need to start over from scratch? Use these insightful tips to create a winning résumé.
Résumé writing can be intimidating. We wonder, what do I include, what do I leave out? How do I make it look nice? In what order do I need to list everything? Some of the most common concerns I hear from my career coaching clients are about how to organize their résumé and what pieces of information to include. Here are some tips that can help you get started on either creating your résumé from scratch or updating it for your next job search.
Brainstorm: The best way to get started is to brainstorm about your natural talents and abilities. Write down everything you’ve accomplished, even as far back as childhood. This is a confidence boost and also can help you get everything out on paper that you could possibly include in your résumé.
Give Yourself Credit: We tend to downplay the things we are naturally good at. This is because we assume that since it comes so naturally to us, everyone must be good at it, right? Wrong. Just because you can easily organize your office and keep your files in amazing working order does not mean everyone can do that. Perhaps you coordinated your local church’s picnic and did a spectacular job. Not everyone has that particular skill, so give yourself credit for what comes naturally to you. Do this, of course, while being honest and accurate. It’s never a good idea to blatantly lie on your résumé.
Organize in a Way that Is Best for You:
One thing people frequently ask me is, “Do I have to put my
résumé in chronological order?” The answer is no. Ordering your work experience by date isn’t necessary— relevance is. If you prefer chronological order, and it seems particularly appropriate for the job you’re hunting for, go for it. But I typically recommend highlighting your skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the position, and organizing the résumé with jobs that are most relevant at the top. If you have a spotty job record, this also helps minimize that issue.
Clearly State Your Objective: Make sure your career objective clearly states the type of work you desire—the more specific, the better. Specific objectives are more powerful and hard-hitting. They stand out. If you’re not sure what type of job you want, consider working with a career coach or counselor to clarify the next step you would like to take in your career
If you need help with a resume or cover letter, consider a resume/cover letter session.
Here's to having a career you love!