Almost 20 years in the staffing industry and I still find many job-seekers exceptionally fearful of “The Resume”. It’s almost like “stage fright” – seriously! Why? What makes us so nervous about this little 8X11 piece of white paper?
A few of my professional opinions and general advice on how to overcome these simple fears.
1. Getting started tends to be the initial hesitation. Advice – Start with just typing Your Name, Address, Phone#, Email, LinkedIn link or Website Address, Company Names, Title of Jobs, and Dates. This is 50% of the resume!
2. We overthink. Advice – Start with literally typing what do you do? You should be able to do this quickly. Treat it like someone just asked you “What do you do for a living?”. Baby steps.
3. We run out of ways of saying the same thing. Advice – Use this resource of action words and your content will just come together. http://bit.ly/19E209D
4. The resume looks boring. Advice – Fluff it up with statistics, numbers, successes and skills. i.e. You can say “Answer phone” or “Juggle 5 phones lines, direct customers to appropriate party and take over 50 messages a day using customized database”.
FLUFF = DETAILS FOLKS.
5. It does not stand out. Advice – Your first few bullets or sentences are essential. We often say to stand out you must take your trophies out of the case. Yes, you’re on a winning team, but how do YOU contribute. Be specific. BRAG.
6. I think my resume looks good, but not ready to email it. Advice – Ask your friend, roommate, spouse or parent the following “Does this 8×11 piece of paper summarize me the way you know me?”. You hope they come away surprised. Focus on the heart of the resume. Look at this image – The HEART captures most of the page and that is how, if you draw a heart on your piece of paper, it’s the content on the inside that matters most.
Deirdre Parlon, CEO, August 2015 “Back to the Basics”