Free Resume Tips by Prin Dumas Sielski
Make Resume Better
The best way to make a resume better is to add specific words and numbers that highlight what you did in a position and how you did it. I had to write my resume several times until I found the appropriate balance between my jobs and professional goals. Since I am a musician, writer, and educator (along with some other hats), I have different kinds of resumes. I’ve really never struggled to find work, because I send resumes that fit the goals I have in mind.
There are three main things that I do for myself and clients to write an effective resume:
That last one doesn’t sound as “fluffy” as it seems!
Resume-writing tip: Condense your resume.
Your resume should be 1 page.
Stop, stop right now! I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care if you have 100 years of experience! No one wants to read all of that. You know why not? Because no one reads resumes anymore. Robots, job search engines, and recent college grads hired as assistants in the Human Resources department read this crap. Stop making it long.
This is a resume, not a CV.
But, but, but…but nothing. One page.
Although there are different schools of thought about how long your resume should be, I believe that you must condense your resume to one page – no exceptions. You’re better off making your point in 1-page than NEEDING 2 pages.
The point of a resume is to highlight why you’re a wonderful candidate. If you feel you must use two pages, it’s only because you don’t know how to be brief.
If you’re “old” and feel your prospective employer needs to know about your accomplishments 20 years ago, before cellphones, Facebook, and Waze, you need to reflect on highlighting the last ten years of your career. The rest can be included as skills or acquired experience areas in your resume template.
Anything older than a decade is outdated. Let’s let that sink in.
If you’ve taken time off from work for personal reasons, there are effective ways to represent outdated professional experiences. Multiples pages is not one of them.
A “CV” is supposed to be more than one page long, and there are few professionals who truly need a curriculum vitae document.
Points for honesty? I really do not know how to write a very good curriculum vitae, but I have written them for engineers and professionals in higher education. These are people with extensive publications, public speaking histories, and projects.
If that’s not you, you need a resume when hunting for job interviews, and that resume should be ONE page.
Resume tip: Clarify your resume.
A common mistake is to assume that the reader knows your industry’s verbiage.
It is also common to believe you may sound “better” by throwing in lots of complex terminology. I’ve had clients from all walks of life and levels of education, experience, and lifestyle circumstances. It’s never acceptable for your resume to assume the other person understands.
If you’re applying for a job within your company, odds are that someone “up there” already knows you, and they will either agree or disagree with your “bullshit.” It’s not worth risking someone challenging your claims.
Most especially, be mindful of your language in job descriptions:
- Provide clear numbers.
- Provide percentages.
- Use simple language.
Industry specifics should be reserved for a special area, like “Expertise” or “Special Skills,” not a job description. I like creating a table section at the top or bottom of the resume that highlights these ticket items. A job description is supposed to highlight how you did the job best, not list the abbreviated symbols of software that everyone in your industry uses.
You have no idea who will read your resume.
Even if you’re submitting the resume to someone you know, they may pass it onto another member of the human resources team. Your resume is not the time to assume people know what you mean.
Resume tip: Brown nose.
You must brown nose carefully without going overboard about interests and hobbies. People, even bosses, want to enjoy the company of employees. Even if they have a set of professional preferences (expertise in a specific software or a specific degree level), a human being has to work with another human being.
People skills matter. Volunteer work, accomplishments in hobbies and extensive travel go a long way to catch the attention of a future boss, or to prompt them into a casual conversation during your interview that could make the difference. If your future boss likes you, that is also a sign of a good boss and a good company. They’re not just looking for you to be an anonymous work mule and pencil pusher. They want YOU and will likely encourage you to grow further with them.
Make the resume easy to read.
Make the resume get you the interview.
Condense, clarify and brown nose!
Enjoy some more details about resume tips from Forbes:
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Resumes by Prin Dumas Sielski