I recently critiqued 30 college students’ resumes and on average the majority of them had the same common mistakes (aside from being done at three in the morning after the essay for English Lit and before the 4th Red Bull). They were dull, lacked action words and selling points. All the key points bled into one another and the effect was that of one long block of text that no eye wants to tackle despite however promising the content.
Employers or recruiters initially spend very little time looking at resumes, typically only 30 seconds to 1 minute. In that short period of time your resume needs to grab his or her attention enough to call you for an interview.
Before you begin to update your current resume, sit down and figure out what sets you apart from all the other job seekers. Take a hard critical look at it and see if it offers a brief overview of your educational background, employment history. Does it reflect who you are and your unique skill set? If it doesn’t, follow the prompts below to get the re-writing process started.
List your achievements and accomplishments – these can later be turned into accomplishment statements/highlights of qualifications on your resume or cover letter. Write down the following:
1. What positive impact have you made on behalf of previous employers?
2. Where and when have you gone above and beyond quotas or expectations?
3. How do you make a difference?
Work and Volunteer History
Reflect over the past 10 years and make a list of the positions that you have held (paid or volunteer). Answer the following questions about each position.
1. What was the job description and what level of responsibilities and skills were required?
Other questions to consider
1. What do people come to you for help with?
2. Are you a member of any organization?
3. Have you ever given a speech or presentation or provided training to anyone?
4. Do you speak any foreign languages?
6. Have you written an article or book? Are you published?
Once your brainstorming sessions is complete, review your previous resumes and update it with additional accomplishments and selling points. Still stuck? That’s OK. Give me a call to discuss resume writing strategies and my resume re-write packages.