“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” (Jack Welch)
When it comes to resume preparation, everyone is an expert. It does not matter whether you are speaking with your dentist, plumber, or window washer. Opinions vary; functional vs. chronological, should it include an objective, what about a career summary, 1-page vs. 2-pages, etc? My head already hurts! There are as many ideas and views on how to construct a resume as there are colors in a rainbow. The truth is resume preparation is not an exact science. Your resume must attract the attention of potential employers and provide a focal point of conversation during an interview. Remember, no one ever hired a resume; it is your ticket to an interview. Based on my 25 years experience as a Human Resources executive and professional coach, some thoughts to consider:
- Format – Generally, the preferred format is the chronological resume. This style lists employment history in reverse order and presents your background in a clear straightforward manner. Most importantly, your resume should reflect your uniqueness as a candidate and personal brand.
- Length – Simply put, a wordy resume will not be read. It’s one of the first “knockout factors.” A one or two page resume is the acceptable length. Keep in mind the length can vary based on your years of experience. For senior executives with significant experience, a third page can be added. When it comes to resume length, remember to keep it brief, concise, and to the point.
- Action words- Your resume should include “action words” to describe your work experience and background. Words such as “coordinated,” “organized,” “directed,” “accomplished,” etc. should be used. Tell the reader what your have done; don’t just list job duties.
In the end, a well-constructed resume will play a major role in getting you an interview. The rest is up to you.
Until next time…