Sunday, January 18, 2009

Self Promotion: Writing a Killer Resume

Resume writing is often difficult for people because they are uncomfortable listing their skills and accomplishments – it feels like bragging. In addition, people often view resumes as functional documents rather than the advertising tool that they really are.

I’ve helped a number of people revise their resumes, and I really enjoy it. It’s a positive, satisfying task to help people showcase their talents and abilities. There are a number of techniques which are helpful:

Focus on Your Skills and Accomplishments
Focus on the most important information by organizing your resume around your key strengths
Take advantage of the added flexibility to include volunteer and personal experience and to highlight the relevant information from different jobs
Define your primary strengths and then provide examples of how you excel in these areas
Provide Concrete Examples
Provide concrete, measurable examples (e.g. increased sales by 10%)
Include volunteer experience (leadership training, chairing meetings, organizing a community event)
Customize Your Resume
Use the same words as the employer uses in the job ad
Organize your resume around the qualifications the employer is looking for
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different
Use colour and formatting to make your resume attractive
Try a different layout (brochure, flyer)
Include quotes from previous employers or references

2 comments:

Stephanie V said...

That's really helpful stuff...I'm passing it on to my son.

Shelley said...

I recently applied for a new job at work (a promotion to an executive level management position). I decided my resume needed an update. I had a reasonable outline to start but Penny really helped me pull it all together. She forced me to think! She made me see how things I've done and been involved in related to what they were looking for in the person they would promote. She helped me re-word things waaaaay better than I had done on my own. She was amazing!!

In the end, my new and improved killer resume kicked butt! The HR manager at work told me it was by far the best one they'd received.

Oh, and guess what!?! I start my new job tomorrow! :-)