A resume is a critical tool to obtain a job. It must be viewed as a marketing tool, and as such it should communicate clearly to others what you offer. It is important that it says quickly and clearly to the reader what are the key reasons to hire you:
- What are your key skills and specialties?
- What diploma and certification do you have?
- What’s your experience
In short, why should they care about you? Remember that they may see a lot of resumes, and are often trying to do the staffing process while still doing their regular job, and doing it short of one employee. The exercise for the hiring person is far from an in-depth analytical research. While enough work is usually done to find the right person, it is done while juggling with other things. Time is very limited. So help them!
Help them with clear sections, making it easy to find the information. Focus on the right information, and stay relatively concise. Not too short and not too long. To the point. To achieve that objective, the design and layout of the document is important. You do not want the reader of the resume to struggle to find information or get tired reading a long and complex resume. While layout cannot do much without content, content will suffer without a good layout. In intellectual profession, too often people think that only the content matters.
On this note, here’s a good article on the importance of a good design for your resume:
4 Tips for Writing a Resume That Gets You Hired
You’ve read all the advice for writing a stellar resume. You’ve applied all the tips for great content. You’ve spent hours reviewing and perfecting it line by line. Friends have checked and double checked your spelling and grammar…
But you’re still not getting callbacks.
Is there anything else you do to improve your resume?
Yes, there is. However, it could be time to leave the content alone… and instead, focus your energy on the design.
Yes, I said “design”.
What do you do with the job experience. I tend to agree with many other sources that say focus on the last 15 years. That does not mean to make it only 15 years, but summarize in a very concise manner the job experience that is more than 15 years ago.
Some people are lucky, so to speak, to only have so few jobs, and all for long period of time. Their resume is easier to write, and doesn’t take much space. How about if you had multiple jobs, especially if you worked successfully on numerous projects? It is even more important to find the right themes and make them visible on your resume.
And how do you write other job experience, that may not be at the core of what your target employers are looking for? I suggest don’t hiding them, but like suggested in this article, create a short section for “other job experience”.
How To Mention Unrelated Work Experience On Your Resume
Many candidates who come to us for resume help have the same question. They have years of professional work experience, but a lot of it isn’t relevant to the position they’re currently seeking. On the one hand, they don’t want to waste resume space detailing work that doesn’t relate to their application. On the other hand, they don’t want to omit years of work that developed them as a professional.
The Right Phrase
I use a magic phrase to address this issue: “additional experience includes.” It’s perfectly all right to sum up large portions of your career in one sentence that lists previous employers or positions
You are looking for good career and job search advice? Careerealism is a good site:
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Michel Dion, PMP, CPA
Founder and Developer of Project-Aria
Discover my book:
Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers: Achieve Better Results in a Dynamic World