Sunday, September 4, 2016

How To Create Your Best Resume Now

A resume is a succinct way to illustrate your experience, credentials, and the proposed value you will bring to an employer or any opportunity utilizing your skills. People are often not sure about what they should include in a resume or how their information should be structured. While the resume process can be complicated, keep in mind that your resume is an extension of you, and how you brand yourself will determine if you get the attention of hiring managers. 

Ultimately, your resume is as unique as you are, and a tool that will evolve along with you. Determining your brand and how you present yourself for each job that you apply for is as important as the interview outfit you choose to wear. As you add new experiences and tools to your toolbox, make it a point to update your resume accordingly and assess how to best represent the information you are adding. 

Simple Do's and Don'ts For Building Your Resume:

  • Do keep a master resume containing all of your jobs, projects, accomplishments, and credentials.

  • Do understand the company's culture you are applying to and ensure your resume will "speak" to them.

  • Do engage colleagues or mentors who have professional experience in hiring to objectively review your resume.

  • Don't fabricate details or omit information, which can misrepresent who you are.

  • Don't overlook important sections like the professional summary, accomplishments, and community involvement.

  • Don't use real estate on jobs that don't align with the job you are applying for. Instead, list the company, role, and start and end date to close the gap in your timeline.

Before you can begin to use the "5 What" resume formula successfully, there are three simple questions to making the most out of any opportunity requiring a resume:

1) What does the role require? Review the advertisement and clearly outline the requirements paying particular attention to the word choices that describe the responsibilities and tasks.

2) Is your resume structured to effectively illustrate your experience and qualifications? Objectively read through your resume noting your word choice and flow. Is there an opportunity to improve based on the job description?

3) How can you go above and beyond to demonstrate your drive and passion (without overstepping boundaries)? This is the area most candidates miss because they think the goal is submitting the resume. The goal is getting the job - so what kind of prep does this entail

The "5 What" Resume Formula

The "5 What" resume formula is designed to help the job seeker take the guess work out of what information to include on a resume. If you don't have certain information for accomplishments or community involvement, then remove this area from your format and revisit at a later time when you have the specifics to include.  

1) What are you offering?
  • Professional Summary
2)  What are your skills? 
  • Business and Technical
3) What have you done?
  • Experience
  • Projects
  • Accomplishments  
4) What are your credentials?
  •  Education and Certifications
5) What is important to you?
  • Volunteer Roles and Hobbies    
Based on the job description or the opportunity you are seeking, these areas will change in order and appearance. Understanding the culture you are preparing to join and what is important to a potential employer will have an influence in how you present your information. Whenever in doubt, talk with a career coach or mentor to help you sort through the details for what will be most effective for your brand and resume structure. 

Stacey Rivers is an author, mom, wife and IT Talent Professional. Find her current book "50 Essential Tips To Getting & Keeping The Right Job" on Amazon.