Be Bold About Wanting More But First Let’s Talk About Your Resume

By November 7, 2021 March 31st, 2022 Women, Work

Is there a more daunting piece of writing than your resume? Probably not. Yet, it is single handedly the most important piece of paper of your professional aspirations. Being able to communicate in a clear straightforward manner what you have accomplished while making it relevant to the role you are applying for is the key to getting the interview invite you are striving for.

Is it daunting? Yes. Is it time consuming? Oh, yes, it is. Is it necessary to write your own resume? Absolutely. Going through the resume writing process is step one in preparing for your job interview, allowing you thorough knowledge of what is in your resume and why it is there. If you get the interview invite, being able to articulate with your potential employer what you did in your previous role(s), what your results were, and how transferable your experience and skills are to the new role will pay in dividends.

Getting yourself ready for a job interview takes intensive preparation, writing your own resume tops the list. Here is a resume writing guide to help you through the process:

What is a resume anyway?

A resume is a formal document that provides an overview of your professional qualifications, including your relevant work experience, skills, education, and notable accomplishments.

 

What should be on a resume?

A resume is made up of the following five components:

 

  • Your contact information
  • Short Introduction
  • Educational background
  • Work history
  • Relevant skills

What not to include on a resume?

References should not be on your resume neither should a photo of you unless a photo is a must for a specific role such as modeling or acting.  A photo could hurt your chances, not only is it not ATS friendly but for many hiring managers it comes across as unprofessional. If you are looking  for a resume template choose the template without the photo option. Use your professional headshot for your website or your social media accounts. Keep in mind, the purpose of your resume is to highlight your experience, your photo could potentially distract the reader from your skillset.

Watch your grammar and spelling!

The truth is the job searching process is harsh with too many reasons to list for disqualifying candidates, poor grammar is one of them. Proofreading your resume, a thousand times is necessary, sharing it with a mentor, friend, colleague, or spouse is most helpful. Even the best writer will have typos. Not only will they have typos they will fall victim to overlooking their error even after many times of proofreading their own writing. It happens to all of us at some point. Be proactive and share it with someone you trust for a lookover, edits, and tweaks, it helps. Right here at Every Woman we do this at no cost. So, if you need another pair of eyes to look over your resume, reach out to us anytime!

Looks matter but it’s not what you think.

Your resume has to appeal to your most critical readers because they are! You want your resume to be straightforward, clean, and legible. The general rule of thumb is about one page for every ten years of work. Ideally, you should choose an 8-10 font size.

 

In terms of font styles, here is a list of the 10 most preferred font styles in no particular order:

 

  1. Times New Roman
  2. Cambria
  3. Georgia
  4. Garamond
  5. Helvetica
  6. Calibri
  7. Didot
  8. Arial Narrow
  9. Trebuchet MS
  10. Lato

Your resume must be a comfortable read. Remember, a hiring manager will give you seconds of their time to make an impression. If it’s uncomfortable for them to read, regardless of your accomplishments they will pass you right along and never know of your amazing talent. Another standard rule is to have about 8-10 bullets for your most current two roles and about 4 bullets for every role thereafter. Keep your resume organized, busy styles are unnecessary and could hurt your chances. Go for a modern, crisp, easy to read, no distracting frills style. You want the reader to see, right off the bat, how you are the right potential candidate.

Whenever possible quantify your content.

Prove your track record with numbers, percentages, and supporting facts, they go a long way in showing your success. Identify outcomes for your team that would be considered key indicators of success.  For example, instead of saying “successfully hit sales quotas” you may try “consistently reached sales quotas 100% of the time and exceeded goals by 10% in the last 6 months.” Even if your role did not use numbers, you can still find ways to quantify your experience and accomplishments. In fact, there is a simple formula you can apply time and time again:

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]

 

 

Here is an example from Laslo Buck of this simple formula in action, the first bullet is okay but with room for improvement, the second bullet hits the bullseye:

 

  • Studied the branding and marketing strategies of XYZ. Analyzed the pricing strategies of XYZ in comparison to competitors.
  • Led cross-functional 10-member team to develop and implement global advertising strategy for $X million XYZ brand resulting in 25-point increase in brand recall, 12% improvement in net promoter score, and contributing to 18% year-over-year sales improvement ($XM)

In essence, what matters most is your ability to maximize your resume’s effectiveness which starts by taking the time and care it merits to create a great written representation of your experiences and skills. May your brilliantly written resume bring you the opportunities you seek!