You want to apply right now for a nice job you just discovered. Stop! Take a breath. Have you rewritten your...
The resume gets you the interview.
Starting the process of writing a resume can seem daunting, after all it’s sort of like taking a good look in the mirror. You might be thinking, “Am I good enough?” or “I never did anything great.” But we all bring skills and talents to the table and if you start to brainstorm about your experiences and past accomplishments, you might surprise yourself at how much you have to offer.
What should my resume look like?
Employers don’t have time to weed through pages and pages of content. One to two page resumes are preferable for most fields.
Your resume should be neatly organized and very easy to scan.
Font size: 11 or 12 points.
Font style: Arial or Calibri. It’s best to stick with one font and not mix font sizes.
Headings: Bold. Don’t use headers or footers on your resume.
No personal information. Avoid use of the first person, e.g. Instead of writing, “I sold 100,000 car parts,” it’s better to say “Exceeded quarterly sales goals by 25%.”
- Professional Summary
- Professional Development
- Professional Experience/Work History
- Community Services
- Professional Associations
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Do not use one “cookie cutter” resume for every job. Always tailor your resume and cover letter to each position that you apply for. In a nutshell, this means emphasizing the skills and experience that will make you appear to be a strong fit for each particular job. Take a look at what the job description specifically asks for, and make sure that your skills and experience are a strong match. Emphasize achievements that match what the employer will want you to achieve in that new job.
Do you have an Accomplishment-Based Resume?
THINK RESULTS: Connect to $, #, and % (Bottom Line)
Your resume needs to be more than a laundry list of job duties. Employers want to know what value you’ll bring to their company, so instead of merely listing job duties, try to show achievements and accomplishments. Think about positive results that you achieved, and how you can quantify these results. Examples of this might be “increased sales by 30%” or “reduced waste by 12%.
- Increase business?
- Save money?
- Implement a new system or procedure?
- Solve a problem?
- Train new employees?
EXAMPLE: Helped solve low workshop attendance.
PROBLEM: Low attendance
ACTIONS: Presented solutions targeting customers
RESULTS: Increased attendance, increased workshops, made $100,000
FINAL RESUME BULLET: Presented solutions that turned around low customer interest by targeting specific markets increasing attendance and the number of given workshops by 2-3 times generating $100,000 in first year revenue.
While changing careers presents some challenges for how to go about crafting your resume, there are strategies for how to translate your previous skills to demonstrate you are a good fit. We suggest you begin by researching the industry to learn the industry-specific language, and the desired skills and experience. Then begin identifying your transferable skills and accomplishments.
You have likely gained a variety of transferable skills through your prior experiences and can adapt them to the position you are seeking. Your background in a different field may serve as an added benefit that can bring additional perspectives and insights to the staff.
Chances are you deserve more credit than you think! We always remind people that you can list not only salaried experiences but also volunteer work. Employers are looking for skills and experiences that demonstrate you can do the job well. Serving in a leadership position in your community, for example, can build a number of skills related to a variety of careers.
There is no shame in being laid off. Unfortunately layoffs are not uncommon and most employers know your job loss was likely due to circumstances that were beyond your control. The key is to keep a positive attitude and remain confident in your abilities.
While you are looking for a new position, we recommend you take on work you can list under your experience, such as consulting or a volunteer position. Freelance work and professional development can help to fill growing gaps and signal to employers that you are still active in your field and keeping your skills up-to-date.
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