Just the thought of writing a resume can lead to a huge headache.
But it doesn't have to be so complicated. Try to think of your resume as an award-winning short memoir about your professional experience.
Certainly, they aren't exactly the same (resumes shouldn't be written in a narrative style), but both share a few similarities: They tell the truth, differentiate you from others, highlight your most unique qualities and capture readers' attention.
Don't know where to start? The career experts suggest considering the essential tips below:
I've seen a shockingly large number of candidates send out a dozen resumes — that all look exactly the same — to a dozen different job openings.
A great resume should be tailored to the job and type of position that you're applying for. You don't have to change every little detail, but the resume itself should reflect the skills and experience that your potential employer would value.
This is one of the top five resume mistakes people make, according to Harvard career experts.
Always be sure to include your email address and phone number. You can go the extra mile by adding your LinkedIn (just make sure it's up to date) or website that showcases examples of your work.
What not to include:
Your resume is a marketing tool, so stick with action verbs. Avoid flowery and high-level claims like "results-oriented," "team player," "excellent communication skills" or "hard worker."
The goal is to deliver specific information about what you've done in your previous positions that led to measurable results.
Here are a few examples of action verbs that demonstrate certain qualities and skills:
Your hiring manager's time is valuable, and a resume that's all over the place isn't worth reading all the way through.
Dustin McKissen is the founder of McKissen + Company, a strategic communications firm in St. Charles, Missouri. He was also named one of LinkedIn's "Top Voices in Management and Corporate Culture." Follow him on LinkedIn here.
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