It’s me, Career Candace, signing on. We will be staying with our previous topic this week: Resume and Cover Letter Writing. Last time I mentioned the importance of keeping a fresh resume on file, and emphasized the 3 C’s (Clear, Concise, and Complete). This week we will dive into resume building and explain how to improve specific sections—even the resume pros will clap for these tips!
Tip #1: Take Out the Guess work
The first of our 3 C’s is Clear. Potential employers need to have a definite sense of what you’ve accomplished prior to joining their organization—and most hiring managers don’t want to toy with guess work. Your inventory of duties, tasks and responsibilities should go without questioning if the skill is actually related to the position you are applying for. So, you want to make sure you are very clear when giving descriptions of your experience. Here are two examples:
Incorrect Form: Worked with employees in a retail store.
Correct Form: Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a retail store with $2 million in annual sales.
See how the second example provides more information? Specific key words and quantified details give your potential employer a bigger glimpse into your past experience.
Tip #2: Wear a lot of hats
Make sure to mention any side projects or volunteer jobs you’ve taken on—the skills you’ve gained from these experiences are also important to employers. If you were out of work for a while, any community service work you were involved in could help exhibit work ethic and fill gaps in employment. Part-time jobs can also show proof of consistency in work history, as well as time management skills, balance, and strong work integrity. Volunteer work at any local non-for-profit may have hidden transferable skills that can help strengthen your existing skills; just make sure to check for relevancy.
Tip #3: Action Jackson
Aim to use action verbs when describing your roles and responsibilities, and avoid using the phrases “responsible for” or “my duties included”…instead, use strong verbs like Managed, Led, Directed, Conducted, Achieved, Obtained, Maintained, Instructed, Assisted, Oversaw, Supplied, and so on. Each job description should lead with an action verb—this will help to define your role more thoroughly.
Tip #4: I Have a Point, I Swear!
Your Objective Statement (also known as the career profile for you experienced vets) is another introduction to your future employer. Most employers stop reading here if they do not have a clear understanding of what you are looking for. Be sure to refrain from vague words to describe yourself and your goals; instead use words that give specific meaning to what you hope to accomplish, and clearly word how you can add more value to their company.
Candace’s Challenge: Proofread your current resume and determine whether you have any potential bottlenecks. If so, work on freshening things up. Just a few of these tweaks should get you back on the right track. If you have any questions, I would love to hear them.
Until next time, Girlfriends.
Candace resides in Chicago. She holds a dual Master’s degree in Business Management from Keller. She is a full time Business Analyst at a leading insurance firm. She has over 11 years of experience in the business industry, including leading resume workshops and business resource trainings and efficiencies. She blogs, cooks, and stays current on the latest business practices and trends. To read more of Candace’s blogs please visit: www.shethinksshepens.wordpress.com