Our careers are ever evolving forces and as they mature, so should our resume. Here are a few tips for each tier of your career.
STUDENTS AND ENTRY LEVEL
If you are pre-college or pre-professional here are a few things you can focus on to make sure your resume reflects the best you have to offer!
1. Focus On Extracurricular Activities And Community Involvement
You can showcase unpaid experience and still show your leadership capacity. Any extracurricular activities you've participated in should be expressed with your position or title in specific terms. For example: If you were Treasurer or Fundraising Chair of your local youth group, sorority or fraternity be sure to mention that. And don't be afraid to talk about your volunteer experience as though it's a job. No matter the length of time you volunteer, focus on what skills you've gained and what you've learned overall.
2. Identify Value Added Tasks and Accomplishments
Employers are looking for specific tasks and qualifications when hiring a new employee. You’ll see which tasks are important to them via the job description. Be sure that you’ve listed all the tasks that coincide with what the employer considers valuable. Put more emphasis on those tasks as they will make more of an impact. Also list your accomplishments in a prominent way making it easy for employers to understand what areas you excel in.
3. Keep Content to One Page
If you’ve been working less than 10 years you are most likely able to get all your work experience on one page. Remember that hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds to review your resume. If your resume is over a page and you aren’t sure how to bring it down, go back and review the job description then highlight anything that matches the job description.
PROFESSIONALS, MANAGERS AND DIRECTORS
Post college and professionals can look to these tips to maximize their resumes impact.
1. Incorporate Any Continued Education to Increase Skill
If you’ve just completed your degree you’ll want to site internships and projects you took on during your college experience. If you’ve been in your position for some time, keep a running list of the trainings you’ve completed and include those relevant to the position you are applying for. On the job training is one of the most undersold skill builders. Don’t forget to list software your company uses.
2. Provide Quantitative Data to Express Accomplishments
If you update your resume every year, (even if you aren’t looking for a new job) you can keep track of your deliverables and accomplishments. Identify your numbers, sales made, calls taken, customers assisted, widgets installed and use that information on your resume. You should also keep a file where you put every accolade you’ve ever received like Employee of the Month or Sales Leader of the Quarter.
3. Only List 10yrs of Experience
Most applications ask for 10 years of experience but here’s a reasons to list more. If you’ve worked more than 10 years at your current job, you’ll want to demonstrate other skills qualifications you’ve gained from previous work history.
EXECUTIVE & C-SUITE CANDIDATES
If you are moving into or within Senior Level positions here are 3 tips that will add that competitive edge to your resume.
1. Identify Your Audience and Target Specifically to Their Needs
Generic resumes are the first to get thrown in the trash. To combat that conduct a needs assessment for each company you intend to apply to. Identify their pain points and express the skills, experience and qualifications you possess to help them.
2. Lead With Organizational Successes Over Daily Tasks
In positions where you are responsible for the success of entire departments, listing your daily tasks can be longwinded and quickly overwhelm the reader. Instead, list your teams accomplishments and add any changes you instituted that led to that success.
3. No More Than 20 Years Listed
With the exception of federal resumes there are very few organizations who want to hear about every job you've ever had. Listing your work experience beyond 20 years can get lengthy, Use that space on your resume to be as strategic as you can.
Are you unsure about how you should update your resume?
I'd love to hear more of your resume tips. What's the best piece of resume advice you've ever gotten?