If you work, you need a resume. Yes, even if you are not looking for a new job!
You see, your resume serves as a history of your work life. Your resume provides a timeline of your professional self and highlights your skills and achievements, your education and experience. It is worthwhile to keep your resume up to date, as one never knows when the next best career opportunity will present itself.
Following are eight steps to writing a resume that gets noticed:
1. Keep the format simple. When you send your resume electronically, you have no control over the platform on the other end. Send the resume as a PDF to ensure its integrity. Best to use simple fonts, no fancy headers or footers, no borders and in the U.S., no photo.
2. Following your name and contact information, start by listing each of your employers going back 10 years, more if appropriate. Include the employer name, city and state and the months and years of the start and end date at each employer.
3. You decide whether to highlight your experience at each employer utilizing either bullet points or a paragraph. Describe what you do and how you do it in short sentences. For example: Introduced new process reducing filing time by 8% annually. Results matter, so when possible, quantify your contributions during your tenure.
4. Please no «I» or «we» as you craft your resume. No me, he or she. Consider your resume a formal document; write accordingly.
5. How long should your resume be, you ask? Your resume should be limited to one or two pages, unless you are an academic or so accomplished that you couldn’t tell all as a short story.
If you are young in your career, a one page resume seems appropriate. The more experience you have, the more employers you have worked for, the longer your resume may be.
6. Your education, including honors, awards and certificates, is next, followed by your skills. You should include technical, computer and other acquired skills you wish to highlight related to your work.
In some instances, you may prefer that your education and skills are ahead of your experience and that could work, depending upon what is customary in your industry.
Should you include a professional summary up top? Yes, but keep is short. The summary should highlight the skills and experiences that match the talent search. If the job you are applying for is a stretch, this is where you bridge the gap for the reader.
7. Is it okay to have more than one version of your resume? This is a yes! Tweak each resume submission toward the job for which you apply.
8. Proofread for typos, grammar and misspellings. Correct errors. Then proofread again. And then proofread again!
Your resume is your calling card. Keep it current and you will be ready when opportunity knocks.
Stayed tuned for more tips on putting your best foot forward.
By Nancy Hornfeld Molloy, Chief People Officer, CompliStaff