Day 11: #BlogLikeCrazy – How to Sell Yourself on Paper
Welcome to Day 11 of #BlogLikeCrazy and before we get started, I’d like to extend a special thank you to every Veteran who has selflessly served this country.
Your service is greatly appreciated now and FOREVER. We will never know the true depth of your sacrifice, but I thank you!
For Day 11 of #BlogLikeCrazy, I’d like to do a quick deep dive on How to Sell Yourself on Paper also known as creating a well-polished resume.
By definition, a resume is a document that is created to present a person’s background, skills, and accomplishments.
It can be used for a large variety of reasons, but it is most used to gain employment.
The task of creating a resume can often be a bit daunting. There are many questions on length, format, and what you should and should not include.
So, today, I’ll take some time to cover the BARE BONES of what is required and should be in your resume.
The formatting for a resume can be a bit subjective, but my general recommendation will be to utilize a format that is clean, organized, easy to read, and applicable for your industry.
Remember, the purpose of your resume is to help gain employment and in doing so, you should create a document that will ultimately and strategically get you an interview.
Your resume is document that tells your story and represents your brand, IN YOUR ABSENCE.
It is an introduction statement to who you are and what you represent.
So, when creating a resume, you should always ask yourself, “what do I want to present to the reader that will help me stand out in a deep sea of applicants”.
On your career journey, always keep in mind, that a resume helps gain the interview and the interview is what gets you the job.
We will talk more about interviewing tomorrow but for now, let’s get into the basic components of a resume.
BASIC COMPONENTS OF A RESUME
Contact Information: Your Name, Email Address, and Telephone Phone should all be included as contact information at the bare minimum. Your state, city, and zip code can also be included but I do not recommend including your full address for security purposes.
Objective/Summary: As a quick introduction for what’s to come, an objective or summary statement should be included. A summary will highlight your key qualifications and experience. Whereas an objective will state your interests and education. Personally, I only recommend an objective is used if you are lacking professional experience due to be a high school or college student.
Education: Include your highest level of education completed and any pending educational experience such as a diploma, GED, degree, or certification. If life happened and a particular diploma, degree, or certification was not completed and you have no intentions on completing it, remove it. Especially if a significant amount of time has passed.
Work History / Professional Experience: Present or past relevant employment should always be listed to display your experience, skill level, and dependability. Include dates of employment, the employer, job title, and relevant skills and accomplishments. Avoid listing mundane tasks that can be completed by anyone. The goal is for you to include relevant information that will help you standout.
Leadership Experience: Include leadership experience such as extracurricular activities where you’ve held office or positions. This area will be most relevant for high school and college students with little to no career experience. Leadership skills can be a key indicator that you are a person who brings results, as such, helping you stand out to a recruiter or hiring manager.
Volunteer Experience: Unpaid experience that is relevant to a particular industry can still be considered valuable depending on the job opportunity. This area will also be most relevant for high school and college students with little to no career experience.
Now that we’ve covered the basic components of a resume, let’s talk about a few resume do’s and don’ts.
Resume Format: My recommendation is to use reverse chronological order to demonstrate career progression, easy to read fonts, font size no smaller than 10 points, and borders to separate information.
Resume Length: The resume length can sometimes be industry driven therefore, to ensure your resume gets a full review, keep it short and keep it relevant. Also, research what may be most appropriate for your field.
Resume Keywords: Spread relevant keywords throughout your resume. The needed keywords can be found in a job posting, relevant to your skillset, and also be industry specific.
Accomplishments: Include accomplishments in your experience bullet points. Explain how you excelled at your assigned duties and use impactful action verbs to stand out.
Now on to RESUME DON’Ts, I’ll keep it short and simple.
Do NOT Use Passive Language: Your career, activities, or leadership isn’t something that happened ‘to you’, take credit for making things happen to impress the reader.
Too Many Details on Hobbies/Interests: Unpaid experience is valuable but stick to information that is relevant to the job or opportunity of interest.
Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors: Always have a friend, family member, mentor, supervisor, etc. review your resume to catch any mistakes you may have overlooked.
Inaccuracies about your Qualifications or Experience: Top things NOT to include on your resume are dishonest statements, half-truths, misleading information, or inaccuracies.
Miscellaneous Extra Content: Consider the following items as information to never include on your resume: Photographs, race, age, sex, religion, political affiliation, contact details for reference, unexceptional academic results, company specific jargon, non-business social media websites, and first-person language. Essentially, any information that can be used to discriminate against you should NOT be included.
The process of creating a resume can be tedious and stressful for some. If you find yourself in a position where you need help creating your resume, NEVER be afraid to ask.
Writing AND highlighting our accomplishments is sometimes a very difficult task.
Asking for help or hiring a resume writer is probably one of the SMARTEST things to do you if you are:
(1) Seeking Career Progression and Advanced Opportunities
(2) Writing is Not your Strong Suit, and
(3) Your Current Resume has NOT Brought the Results you Hoped for
Should you ever been in the market for a Resume Writer, I may also be your girl. Just shoot me an email and we can talk more at email@example.com.
Until Next Time, #KeyInspires