“You have to figure out where you have been and what you have done, in order to know where you are going.”
The statement above pretty much captures my philosophy on resume writing. I have been writing and editing resumes for 12 years. I never get sick of it because I am always telling a new story about an interesting person. I learn a lot too!
The goal of the resume is to get you interviews, so you can get that much closer to the offer.
People ask me how my clients are getting jobs everyday and every week. I tell them it all starts with the resume. I help my clients tell their professional story and communicate a factual and multidimensional view of who they are.
I am writing resumes based on my client’s history not their mothers, fathers, neighbors, etc. It is their story on paper.
I believe that you need to be in an exploratory mode when you are writing your resume. The first step is writing the outline which is basically documenting all of your jobs and titles, etc. Second, do the Brain or Data Dump or some clients call it a Cranial Plunk! Transport yourself back to each job in your mind and write everything you did in that job. Third, go back and then ask yourself two questions. How did I do it (document your strategy) and how did I help my company or client? Your resume should be at least a couple of pages during this process. Then you can go back and edit the entire document so you can produce a final document.
The resume is your first interview advantage! Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Human Resource Professionals believe in the concept “Neat on Paper, Neat in Person.” It is shocking to me that job seekers don’t spend more time on their resume.
Below is a list of what you don’t want to do when writing a resume.
Don’t try to figure out what the other side is thinking, meaning the hiring managers or recruiters. Just write the facts about your professional story. Remember, like attracts like and if they don’t like what you are writing then they won’t hire you and that’s what you want. You want to attract people that value you and your history.
Don’t write a one page resume when you have 10+ years. A two to three page resume is acceptable. People don’t realize that hiring managers only read five resumes per position. The recruiters do all the screening.
Don’t let anyone else write your resume. They can edit it for you all day long but only you should be writing your resume.
Don’t forget to spell check the document!
Don’t forget to add your awards, professional associations and volunteerism, etc.
I could go on and on but the most important thing to remember when writing a resume is to represent your story and just write the facts. That’s all you have is your story and its good enough. Don’t try to figure out what the Hiring Manager wants because you will never know. Good luck.