Writing your resume is about so much more than just listing your past jobs, where they were and what you did. Take some time to do a self assessment before you start working on your resume. Here are a few questions to get the ball rolling…
Where is this going? If you don’t know what you want to do your resume will surely show it and an unfocused resume will get you nowhere fast. Who’s the reader and what do you want them to know about you? What’s your ultimate goal? Try to list at least 1 career or job search goal for the week, month, year and beyond. Armed with a goal, your resume document has a clear focus and a target. Without it, you’re shooting in the dark.
What’s the most impressive thing you have to offer? What can you do that someone else can’t? It’s important to know what the most important assets you have are AND what they can do for your next employer. Figure out your unique value first and your resume will write itself. Try to tell your career story; don’t just list the things you’ve done before. Why would someone choose you over hundreds of other applicants? More about telling your story with an “adventures-first” resume in this Shiny New Resume article.
How do you measure up? How can you “prove” you’re so awesome? How is success measured in your field? How are you different from other candidates that have held similar jobs? Numbers, percentages and accomplishments are universally appropriate and proven results are absolutely necessary for a great resume. Numbers help quantify your achievements and also help break up the page visually. If your industry doesn’t lend itself to numbers (and even if it does), think about career challenges, actions and results that show you’re an amazing asset.
Why do people like you? What are the qualities that make you great to work with? What kind of person are you? Remember you’re trying to communicate a personal brand in one or two pages – not easy to do – so speak very clearly and concisely about who you are and what you bring to the table. Ideally the reader gets an idea of what you’re all about in those critical first seven seconds they spend scanning your resume.
If you spend some time reflecting on yourself and your goals before writing your resume, you’ll have a better perspective on how to tell your unique story. Resumes are some of the most important documents in our lives – make sure yours is the best it can be by spending some time on honest self-assessment and career goals.
Want to take the easy route? Our professional resume writers ask these questions and more to get to know you and present your unique value in a professionally written document that makes you really shine. Ready to get started? Order a Shiny New Resume and start working with a professional resume writer today!