Archive for Resume/Cover Letters
We always hear we need to sell ourselves on our resume, of course, without being dishonest. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, are changing careers, or have been in school without working for a few years-what are some of the experiences you can use to enhance your resume and fill those gaps where you lack traditional work experience. Here is a quick list of possibilities. Instead of experience you can list:
1. Sports team memberships – Yes I had a client at a presentation say she did this with great success. *She played a leadership role on the team. That makes a difference. If you played a leadership role, add that higher up on your resume under a category called Leadership Positions and Activities for example. List the role you played there. If you did not play a leadership role, leave it at the bottom under Volunteer Work and Activities or leave it off completely.
2. Internships – Yes they count, even if they are informal for example if you worked at a friend’s office for free for a few months. Only include them if they are relevant of course but if they are, list them and specify a) what you learned, and b) the results you provided while there.
3. Volunteer work – This can be included, again, as long as it’s relevant. Reference the location, length of time and specific duties focusing on results and achievements.
4. Classes – If you have just completed your MBA for example and attended full time so did not work, list the relevant coursework at the top of your resume in your Professional Profile section. Mention is was a course and, if there was a specific project you were involved in that is relevant, for example a corporate case study, be sure to include that as well! It’s about showing relevant experience or knowledge, however you came by that experience. Focus on results here as well. Was there a report you provided to the organization, what did they do with that report and your results or suggestions? For example did they adjust their marketing efforts based on your project recommendations? Be specific here, use numbers to quantify whenever possible.
5. Involvement in organizations on campus or otherwise – Again, only if you were in some kind of leadership position and utilized skills that would be relevant. Did you serve on your child’s class committee for fundraising and raise a certain amount of money? If you were just the class parent with no specific relevant results, leave it off. Each listing on your resume has to demonstrate relevant skills. Relevancy is critical.
P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.
Check out my latest YouTube video as I discuss a very interesting job coach article about a study revealing what recruiters look at on your resume. Watch this video where I reveal what you can learn from it and how to improve your resume as a result, to improve your job search efforts.One hint: Make your job title as clear as possible. For example if your official title is somewhat generic and doesn’t fully explain what you do or did, add verbiage to it that explains it right after you list the title, even if it wasn’t your “official” title so they can clearly and quickly see what you were responsible for.
www.halliecrawford.com – Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coach, shares three stories from working with clients who have had great success in filling the gaps in their resume using a career assessment and more. Learn how to beef up your resume even when you’re lacking work experience and transitioning into a new career.
I was talking to my career book editor, Anne, the other day. As a professional writer she has helped many people with their resume writing over the years. We were working on the portion of my book (coming in early 2014, I’m very excited!) regarding resume advice and we were brainstorming tips that you don’t hear every day regarding your resume update.
One of her suggestions, was after you have edited your resume and you have the final draft, read it once more, backwards. This will enable you to capture any mistakes in spelling and punctuation that you may have missed because you have been looking at it for so many hours!
So take one last look, have others read it as well of course, but take a few minutes to read your resume backwards line by line in case you have missed something small. Thanks Anne, great advice!
P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.
Most people will say no, they are not updating their resume continuously. Nine times out of ten when I’m working with a new client, they say their resume is out of date. Some have not even looked at it in years! I understand that, and what happens when our resume writer, Jasmine Marchong, begins to work on their resume, they have trouble remembering the key accomplishments they want to include over the years.
It takes more time to dig through your memory banks or performance reviews than it would to simply update your resume every six to twelve months. We liked this article about what to include in your update, Performance Appraisal Time? Update Your Resume at the Same Time. A great time to update your resume is before your performance review so that you can use it as the catalyst to get you going.
A couple of other things to keep in mind as well:
1. Update your LinkedIn profile at the same time!
2. Keep a master resume with all of your work experience and accomplishments.
This will make it easier when it’s time to start a new job search. You can simply copy and paste the relevant material into each new resume to apply for jobs.
P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.