Is the thought of writing a resume as pleasant as having your wisdom teeth surgically extracted? I ask because I was discussing resume writing strategies with a client today and she mentioned she was thrilled I was going to write her resume. This was because she was no longer actively involved in (as she put it) the whole torturous process. I didn't realize the experience could be so terrible - but then I thought about doing my own taxes and realized what she meant.
Here are five surefire resume writing tips that will help you through the process:
1. Keep your resume simple yet filled with relevant information and rich with keywords. Sell your skills, abilities and accomplishments by showing how you are an excellent fit for the job. Remember, your resume is a marketing piece and it's supposed to generate enough interest to get you a telephone call from a prospective employer. It is your ticket into a telephone interview at the least, so it should make you shine!
2. If you have more than five years of experience, it is not necessary for you to try to cram everything into a one page document. Two pages are perfectly acceptable and standard practice. Generally you want to keep your resume at no more than two pages.
3. The employer has a pain so to speak - show how you are the solution. Your resume should target the job for which you are applying. If you're applying for a job as a Research Scientist, tailor your resume toward the position. Go ahead and remove anything that isn't related. By this I mean that there is no need to mention a marketing internship on your Research Scientist resume because it is not relevant to the position.
4. You don't need to use months and years on your resume; just use years. This will be especially helpful if you've held irrelevant jobs for less than a year because you don't have to mention them on your resume. For instance if you were working part-time as a pottery instructor for seven or eight months, you don't need to add it to your Research Scientist resume. (A caveat: Don't forget to mention the job prior to a background check).
5. For greater impact, mention the result first then describe how you achieved it. Take a look at this before and after. Before: Designed and implemented a research strategy that resulted in $30,000 in additional revenues each month. After: Generated $30,000 in additional monthly revenues by designing and implementing a high impact research strategy.
Writing a resume does not have to be torture. These five tips will help you write a great resume and hopefully help you forget all about wisdom teeth extraction.