This morning I finally finished building a two-hour training session for new employees, and the last task was condensing everything into a 4×6 note card to include in a stack of the same cards from other sessions. Sort of like a cheat sheet professors let us use in college. Or a “If you remember one thing from today’s presentation” kind of thing. Short, sweet, easy to remember.
Then over lunch a friend asked me what her son should do to help him find a job. Broad question, I know, but we got to talking about his resume. And I thought back to my 4×6 cards and decided to record my top 5 tips to easily improve a resume. And I do mean easily. Completing this list should take no more than 20 minutes. Continue reading
“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” — Georg Wilhelm
Passion impresses people–it belongs on your resume–and there are ways to help passion shine through.
- List your achievements instead of your responsibilities in the experience section. Don’t explain what your job was, explain what you did.
- Show singular focus on where you’re going. I meet too many people who say “Are you hiring?” Yes. “For what positions?” These two positions. “Can I apply for one?” Someone who will settle for any job they can find is unlikely to bring passion to the table. But someone who knows exactly what they want to do are going to bring dedication and desire to the job.
- Engage in related extra-curriculars and professional groups. The passionate candidate strives to make themselves more successful and knowledgeable. They spend some of their free time in pursuit of their interests, and if their interests overlap with the industry they’re applying to, so much the better. This is easy to do even at an early stage in your career.
There are plenty of other ways, right?
We receive many references in our business, and it’s a great way to meet qualified candidates. The drawback is that friends and family members often forward resumes without giving the candidate a chance to customize the content. Best-case: I receive a copy of their generic resume that doesn’t stand out from the pack. Worst-case: I receive a copy that was created for someone else. Employers are starting to expect customized resumes, and there’s no excuse not to take the time.
But what do you customize? Almost everything, including objective statements, skills summaries, past experience, volunteering, and even extra-curriculars.
In the past year, I’ve reviewed around 1,500 resumes as people apply to work for my company. It might be helpful to know how I read a resume. I’m not going to tell you how to write a resume–just how I read them. Here are my observations.