One of the first things you need to do when starting a job search is to make sure you have a resume or make sure your current one is up to date. Since I have been working for over twenty I have had a resume for a long time, but have not really had a need to use it recently. The job search criteria have changed a bit since I was last actively looking for a position and the resume format has evolved as well. I mean when I first put my resume together LinkedIn wasn’t even around. My resume was due for a major renovation. I did some homework and attended a recent class to help update my resume.
A resume is usually the first introduction a prospective hiring manager will receive, so you better make it count. A resume should list both features and benefits of your previous work history. It should magnify accomplishment relevant to the target position. Meaning you may have multiple resumes, and it’s a living and changing document depending on how often and what position you are applying too. You should always try to match common requirements and keywords from research from existing position from the major job sites. It should be no more than two pages in length and contain the three main parts of a resume, a summary, experience, and education.
Three Main Parts of a Resume
Most resumes are broken down into three main parts, a summary, experience and, education section. You can also add an additional relevant experience section and professional development section if applicable to the position you are applying. Here’s a breakdown:
- Summary (Max of 6 lines)
- Who you are
- Job title & level
- Impact – main value and contribution
- Hard Skills
- Expertise & Knowledge
- Soft Skills
- Strength, experiences and personal attributes
- Technical Skills/Knowledge
- Professional Experience
- Prove your case
- List last 10-15 years
- Company, Location, Years of employment
- Job Titles
- Job scope statement (max of 4 lines)
- Accomplishments and Contributions
- Additional Relevant Experience
- Major if relevant
- Professional Development
- Additional training and certificates.
It’s good to leave some white space between each section to make it easy to read and easy to find each section. The resume is your personal brand, you want to convey the value you bring, the main impact and what you are best known for in two pages. You need to get it right.
I applied this type of thinking and formatting to my resume and transformed it into a much more powerful piece of paper. It went from a list responsibilities over the last 20 years to list of accomplishments and achievements. One that I think is much more likely to land me my next position. Isn’t that the goal? Our income is the best tool we have for building wealth.
Do you have a resume? When the last time you updated it? What are your best resume tips?
*image curtsy of sjsu.edu