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.
Keep it Concise and Easy to Read:
Enough said. You don’t want to send a potential employer a novel.
You want the hiring manager to be able to scan your résumé with
ease. Keep it short while highlighting why you’re the best person
for the job. The typical recommended length is one page for an entry-level position, and two pages for a position requiring more experience.
Include a Cover Letter: Always include a cover letter with your résumé, unless the person doing the hiring specifies not to. This demonstrates your communication skills, shows you are interested in the job because you’re taking time to write the letter, and it can highlight those items you really want them to notice on your résumé. If your writing skills are not great, I highly recommend working with a professional résumé writer for help.
Show Your Personality: Give the potential employer a sense of who you are as a person outside of work. What’s unique or different about you? Where do you spend your time outside of work? Include outside activities and organizations that you are involved in—it helps you stand out in the crowd, or in the pile of résumés, in this case.
Emphasize Contributions, Not Duties:
Résumés should always highlight what you contributed or accomplished
at a job, as opposed to duties or responsibilities. This is another area where people tend to struggle. They want to merely list their job description. Don’t do this—explain how you contributed to that organization. Use action verbs and highlight those accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Be Proud: Make sure you feel proud of your résumé. It will show in the interview. If you’re pleased with it, that will come across. Your résumé is representative of you—make sure it’s something you’re proud of.
If you need help with a resume or cover letter, consider a resume/cover letter session.
Here's to having a career you love!