Resume Series: Making it Work for You
You know the importance of a well-crafted resume. But what content makes a resume well-crafted? This post explains how to write the content of a resume by resume type.
One of the most significant challenges about crafting a resume is that you have to condense your work experience, which can span over many years on an 8.5 x 11 paper.
You can greatly conserve and help format a resume that suits your work history, work experience, and relevant skills by figuring out which resume type suits you best. To read more about resume types, follow this link to my first post in the series, Resume Series: Resume Types.
All resume types contain contact information. Contact information should include a contact number, your website or portfolio site, an email with a professional account name (preferably your name), and your custom LinkedIn URL.
So, now that you have figured out your resume type and we've gone over contact information, it's time to get to work!
Crafting your Bullet Points
A career advisor at the Cal State LA Career Development Center gave me the best advice for the trickiest part of creating a resume: using a formula.
Action Verb + Task + Outcome
Your action verb is the first "pull" you have for a recruiter or hiring manager to read the rest of your resume. Resist repeating the same action verb.
The task is the meat of your bullet point. This is the part that the Applicant Tracking System picks up on to select your resume from a pool of applicants.
The outcome is there to demonstrate that you understand the importance of that function; it demonstrates that you see the big picture of your previous employers' objectives. Use concrete figures in this section whenever possible.
Don't forget to drop job titles in your bullet points if you worked with someone with a higher job title.
Evaluate your bullet points carefully, you might have more than one task in one bullet.
Putting it all together, you might change,
"Consulted with clients and assisted in the development of numerous graphic designs"
into the following bullet points:
"Consulted with 37 clients to assure that their design needs were being met, 95% of the clients reported high satisfaction."
"Assisted the Senior Graphic Designer in the development design project for 9 of [his/her] client accounts to help conserve project timelines and workflow during high-volume seasons."
Resume Content Overview
Refreshing your mind, the chronological resume, functional resume, and combination resume contain the information in the still frame below. For an audio description, play the video.
Work History / Work Experience
The still frame below lists key differences between resume types when listing your work experience. For an audio description, play the video.
Chronological Resume Considerations
If most of your job experience falls in the number 2 and 3 category without number one in the mix or there are too many long gaps in your work history, then you might want to reconsider this resume type and try either a functional or combination resume.
Functional Resume Considerations
Your work history is not the emphasis of your resume, your skills are. This resume is perfect for individuals that do not have relevant work experience but, nevertheless, developed skills throughout their work history that suits the job position. That is why your resume uses an objective and your skills are sectioned into themes.
Combination Resume Considerations
The first point is not a hard and fast rule but a recommendation that I have heard to either emphasize or de-emphasize education as needed. You might want to de-emphasize your education if you studied history or vocal performance but are now applying to a management position, especially if you have the management experience.
The video audio description of the chart below explains the education section for each resume type.
In your education section, just as in the work history section, you want to highlight the date that your degree was conferred and the degree obtained.
The still frame below explains the key differences in the skills section for each resume type. For an audio description, play the video below.
Your skills can be in bullet form or listed as a series with commas. Each skill, however, must be relevant to the position and not already be implied with keywords or highlighted in your bullet points. Typically, these skills will be hard skills and technology and software but even those can be listed in your bullet points. So choose the skills you want to place in your bullet points and those you want to give more visibility in the skills section. You might find that there are some skills you need to mention both ways!
As mentioned previously, additional information can include:
Volunteer activities or service
Awards and recognitions
Job Shadowing Experience
It is not necessary to list any of these if none of these experiences are relevant to the job position. However, if they are in some way or you think it will help you connect to the company culture, by all means, include it.
When crafting your resume, it is important to remember that you only need to list what is relevant to the position. Some of your work experience might only have two bullet points while another has five. You might choose to include volunteer experience if the culture of the company you are applying to encourages such activities.
Now that you know what resume type suits you, what to include and how to include it, I will discuss how to make your resume look good. Thanks again to the Cal State LA Career Center for providing this information that I now shared with you! The next post in the resume series is about formatting and design.