Sure You Want To Upgrade Your Resume?

Resumes are overrated.

handwrittenresume “Can you review my resume” is the first question most people ask me when they find out I’m a career adviser. They waste the chance to develop new strategies for connecting with employers and others in their career field.

Too often job seekers think a few tweaks on a piece of paper are the only things keeping them from being hired.

Most job seekers get more results focusing on building relationships within their professional community (um, isn’t that networking?), than spending hours editing their resumes.

Your resume is an important part of your job search toolkit — it’s just not the only, or the most important part.

  • If you only spend 10 minutes today on your job search, use it calling or e-mailing at least three networking contacts.
  • If you have another five minutes, send strategic LinkedIn invitations to new contacts.

Still want to work on your resume? Fine.

Here are a few tips:

Add a “personal statement” to your resume.
This is different from an “objective” which is narrowly focused and self-centered. A professional statement is a one or two sentence summary of your career identity, the audience/industry you serve, and what you bring to an employer.

Highlight projects, not just positions.
Use your resume to show the projects you worked on, especially those where you had leadership or creative roles. Your resume should not be a rehash of your job duties, it should highlight your accomplishments.

Include your community involvement.
Add any volunteer positions, professional organization activities, or anything else that shows your dedication to your chosen industry and the communities you identify with. List any position, paid or unpaid, where you gained skills and experiences that will make you a better employee.

Will those ideas help you to upgrade your resume? What other tips do you have for job seekers?

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