Your resume represents you when you can’t be there. Strong written communication means a strong portrayal of your abilities. Follow this guide to refine your resume so that you are marketing yourself effectively.
Don’t forget this is a marketing document!
Design your resume to generate a response. Define your audience and speak directly to them. Make it easy for the reader to decide who you are.
It is also a business document.
Be legible, credible and properly structured. 99% of resumes are now saved digitally, the content is far more important than the paper you put it on.
You are your brand.
Deliver a clear message. Who are you? What makes you unique? (Tip: Who you are isn’t always what you’ve done, but how you’ve done it!)
Don’t say, do!
Your objective is less important to the person reviewing your resume than their own objective. Don’t state what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Give them an executive summary that answers the question “Why should I hire you?”
Be who you are. It’s the best way to be!
Be authentic and avoid cliché. Be specific and stay away from vague, all-encompassing statements. Your honesty will create a bond without you being there.
Choose chronological over functional.
Reverse chronological order is standard. This makes sure everyone is clear on where you’ve been, when, and for how long.
Less is more.
That summer you spent unclogging copy machines while smiling strategically at the equally under-payed third-key? Probably not relevant for the Fortune 500 start-up you are eying up now. Make every sentence count.
Make your education count.
Your education should be listed in reverse chronological order as well, with your most recent achievements receiving top-rank with their associated dates. Ditch your high school if you have any post secondary education.
Show, don’t tell.
Simply stating what you did doesn’t work there’s no proof you did it well. Illustrate success by using references, accomplishments and demonstrating before and after results.
People hire the people they best ‘relate’ to. Use an “Interests” section to distinguish yourself and end with something of curiosity, interest or playfulness—get people to remember you.