So you want a resume…

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked about how to write a resume or to review them or to help understand what the heck an effective resume looks like.

I thought I would take a few minutes to write up some guidance on how to look at resumes as well as what you should be writing in yours. As I regularly do, let’s start with a quick story…

Many years ago, I worked for a small startup and there was a group meeting this week. The manager of the company spoke and it was clear that I was about to be laid off. Well bummer – I guess I better put together a resume.

How many times have you said the words, “I better update my resume” or, worse yet, “I need to find my resume” or, even worse, “How do I make a resume.” I guess there is one more — “What’s a resume,” but I will assume everyone got past that one.

It is one of those things that everyone hates to do, but it is one of those necessary taxes that we must pay to move forward in our careers. It is not fun or glamorous, but here are some simple things to help you put it together quickly.

  • Every quarter take 30-60 minutes and write down every single accomplishment you have done in your role.
  • When you write the accomplishment, use the form of action verb, description of what you did, and a value statement
  • The value statement should be in terms of employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, dollars, time, or some other value that can be measured objectively.
  • If you have all of this information at your disposal, when it comes time to find a job, you can choose the specific accomplishments that pertain to the job you are interested.

Other general rules to be aware of while writing:

    • Keep your industry jargon and abbreviations to a minimum. Keep things in terms of the audience.
    • Write your bullets in the active voice and maintain consistency in your sentence tense.
    • Do not go over 1 page.
    • Do not go over 1 page.
    • Do not go over 1 page – while you may have accomplished a lot and you think you should put every single item on the list, it really does not help you. This was repeated 3 times intentionally.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will have a more effective resume and have a better chance of catching that recruiter or hiring manager’s attention.

Do you have any other tips that you have found has made a difference?