We’ve all read how to write a resume, how to make your resume stand out and how to land the job articles. But a lot of those articles don’t include the most important aspect that is You and what You stand for. Your Brand.
I’m still going to go over how to really create a quality resume that will help get you in the door and beyond but we focus on You, not just what you’ve done.
So, who are you?
Do you like to have fun? What are your hobbies? Do you volunteer? Do you spend time in your community even if you don’t take credit for it? Have you donated your time or money to a cause or to a person? Do you know what your attributes are?
These are some of the things you should think about when putting all of your information on an 8.5×11.75″ piece of paper. But don’t let those boundaries be the defining border of where your experiences end and you begin. Be a cohesive You in all that you say and do.
Your Name big and bold. Stand out and personalize it. Now don’t choose Comic Sans, we’re not in high school and you are way more valuable than that. There is a way to find a font that in a way represents your personality if you like staring at a list of fonts and trying each one out to find you find the one you like best. Most professional typefaces are in the Serif family of fonts. Let’s move on, you can choose your font on your own valuable time.
All About You section. If you refer back to our previous post of creating the perfect personal biography, we will use those key points here.
- What is your Purpose in life?
- What have you accomplished and what do you hope to accomplish?
- Are there other details you want to share right away? A hobby or activity?
- Use keywords that describe you, attributes that fit how you work. Compassionate, empathetic, adaptable, passionate, hardworking, etc.
- Avoid filler words at all costs. No one is “really” empathetic or “very” hardworking. Really and very are filler, space holders taking up the precious space on your hardworking resume! (See what I did there?)
Your About section should be concise and human. You are not a robot and no one expects you to only work. You have a life that you live for and you can share it. Just don’t go overboard on the details. Stick to a few great statements. This is your brand as a person.
current and past employment history list. By “list” I mean to describe. Your title shows what you were with that employer, but you should describe the characteristics of the role you filled and the attributes you gained from it. Those experiences showcase who you were in that position.
Now there are several ways you can go about filling in your work history. You can do the last 3-5 positions in descending chronological order OR you can list the most relevant work history to the role in which you are applying for… even if there is some “time” between those positions.
When listing your past work experience, don’t call them “jobs”. Those roles you held are more valuable described as positions or roles and career changes. A high schooler has jobs, an adult has a career.
If you choose the latter option to list the most relevant work experience, still place them on your resume in chronological order and highlight the experiences you had in those roles that really fit with the company you hope to be employed with.
Include with your work experience the title you held and the dates you were with the employer, month and year.
Your Keywords! These are the words to your theme song; your skills that stand out above and beyond the competition, what your experiences speak volumes too. This is your work brand.
Are you charismatic? Can you speak in front of groups and lead the discussions? Have you been able to do that all along and just now realize that you’re pretty awesome at it? Use it, highlight it and build upon it. Do you plan to achieve goals or do you plan goals that are achievable? Do you wake up each morning motivated to “DO WORK”? Do you excel in Excel? Maybe Google Docs is your thing. Whatever you are good at those are your keywords, sometimes those keywords are more like a phrase but as long as it’s you, true and bold, use it. Stick to 5-7 great keywords.
Volunteerism and Certifications. Pick your top 3-4 of each for what you have and detail them here. Use the title of certificates as they appear and if it is available, how long they are good for. For volunteerism, list the project, location, and date you volunteered. If the act of volunteering is part of a larger collaboration, list the organization or non-profit the volunteer opportunity was for as well. These items build upon your brand as a person (that the happy recruiter was enjoying reading).
Now looking at all of this information together, you should stick to one page. Being concise and straightforward should help you to achieve that. Leave out extraneous details that do not flow with the rest of the pieces. Use a font that is easy on the eyes for reading and doesn’t distract from the words. Your headings for each section should be slightly larger and bold but again not distracting from the important details that are you in words.
Professional references should be listed on a separate page, or even the back side of your resume. Choose individuals that build you up or your buddy who lives down the street you hang out with… unless they are also an awesome build you up person!
Here is my example of an awesome resume. Pardon the missing personal identifiable information, that info is not quite that public. As you can imagine, your contact information, position title, and name are very important. So have fun with your resume and let You shine!