I'd bet a significant amount of money that 99.9% of people who are looking for a new job, dread the part of the process where they have to update their resume. Unless you get paid to write resumes (like I do as a career coach and strategist - shameless plug, I know), you would much rather be doing anything else.
While I can understand why the prospect of listing your skills in chronological order using words like "team player", "hard worker", or "self starter" makes you cringe, it is still a necessary evil in the job hunting process.
So my philosophy is this; if you have to do it, you may as well do it right. The purpose of the resume is not to rehash your entire career history, instead it is to provide just enough information to make the hiring manager curious to learn more about you.
Here are my all star tips to help you create a dream resume that will help you land the job interview. After all, that's the point of this whole thing, right? Right.
- Before you sit down to update your resume, come up with 3-4 words you want the recruiter or hiring manager to think about you when they read it. This is your message and should come across in every aspect of your resume.
- While it's a myth that a resume must only be 1 page, it is true that it should be as concise as possible. Make every word earn its way onto the page. There's no room (or time) for fluff.
- Use active verbs that show what you actually did in each role. Your resume will be scanned initially for about 6 seconds, make the person reading it want to find out more about you.
- Utilize the job description for the role you are applying for to help with content on your resume. Don't copy word for word, but be sure to incorporate key themes and skills.
It all boils down to this: hiring managers are looking for reasons NOT to interview you. Your job is to make it harder for them to do that. Be consistent and clear in your message and make sure that all supporting information backs it up. If the job description calls for advanced Microsoft Excel skills, then by all means CLEARLY SHOW HOW MUCH OF A PRO YOU ARE, if it is the case.
Your resume should showcase the best highlights of your work history and make anyone reading it excited to learn more about who you are.