Job Search Tip # 4: Revise…or…write your résumé
January 3, 2012 Leave a comment
In the last article we looked at assessing your skills. Now we’ll look at revising your résumé or writing one. There are three notable challenges jobseekers are facing when revising or writing their resume:
- Many haven’t kept up with writing their accomplishments while working.
- Some jobseekers are looking for work for the first time in 10, 20, even 30 years.
- Many college grads are looking for full-time work for the first time in a turbulent economy.
In all cases, today’s résumés have changed, with a focus on industry keywords, accomplishments, short-easy-to-read text blocks, and targeted delivery of your résumés.
Most résumés these days have a keyword-rich branding title that accurately describes your occupation and areas of strengths. Here is an example: Marketing Talent Executive | Staffing/Recruiting | Generalist | Career Coach/Advisor | Author | Speaker. This will immediately grab an employer’s attention.
A professional profile will make you or break you. You have to grab the employer’s attention with a no-fluff, fact-revealing statement that serves as a snapshot of you and what is to follow for the rest of the résumé. To simply write the word, Creative does not have an impact.
However something like the following carries more weight: “Demonstrates creativity through initiating and fostering groups that have contributed to financial success. “ More specific information should be included in your work history.
Your competency section is meant to show employers what skills you possess, as well as additional skills that may be a plus to the employer. They are key words that should also show up in your title and professional profile. Knock em’ Dead author, Martin Yate, explains the importance of the competency section, which he calls supporting skills.
The work history is the most important part of your résumé, so it must contain high-impact information that demonstrates your accomplishments. Duties are simply…duties; however, accomplishments sell. If you’re looking at a boatload of duties on your résumé, do your best to see how they can be turned into statements that show positive impact on the companies for which you worked. “Spearheaded the first continuous improvement committee at the company,” is a duty statement.
“Spearheaded the first continuous improvement program at the company that eliminated redundant, costly programs. This resulted in an overall savings of $200,000.” This is an accomplishment statement with a quantified result.
The final piece is your education section. For MBA grads, I’m a big fan of putting your hard-earned degree beside your name at the top of your résumé. In your education section fully spell the degree. And proudly list your GPA if it is higher than a 3.5/4.0 (there’s some debate over this).
Masters of Business Administration
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Martin Yate says it best, “No one likes to write a résumé.” He also says that a résumé is our most important financial document. No one said writing your résumé would be easy, but as time goes on it becomes easier. Remember that each résumé must be tailored to a specific job. Even in this turbulent economy, jobs are being had; so never give up on your job search.
Next we’ll look at creating your accomplishment list.