Dusting Off The Resumé


Courtesy of woodleywonderworks on FlickrIn the current job market many people have found themselves applying for a job for the first time in years. Some are finishing college eager to find an open position in their field. And some are lucky enough to have kept a steady job. Employment status aside, it’s always a good idea to keep your resumé  spruced up and current.  Even if you are fortunate enough to be gainfully employed and enjoy your job, we can’t predict the future. There could be an opening in another department you’re interested in, or if the worst happens, downsizing. The early bird gets the worm so pretend you’re a Boy Scout and always be prepared.

Something to keep in mind when you’re freshening up your resumé  is that you are effectively marketing yourself, much like a business would. The idea is to  appeal to your target demographic (the employer). So think of your resumé  as an advertisement. It should effectively communicate what it is you have to offer (your product). It should standout from the crowd, but without being obnoxious (think the old dancing guy in Six Flags ads). And it needs to be appropriate for your audience (your resumé   is NOT a Bud Light commercial).

Selling Yourself-You are your product. You want to look as good as possible, but be honest about it. Think lighting and make-up versus airbrushing and Photoshop ala a Britney Spears album cover. Listing a former position as Office Manager rather than Administrative Assistant (if appropriate) simply sounds better. But you’re not making yourself out to be the CEO either.  If there’s been a gap in your employment, list any activities you WERE engaged in during that time: travel, volunteering, being a full-time student or parent.

Standing Out-Unless you’re applying to be a product designer or something in the field of fine art, no one cares about your origami skills. Things that are bulky, awkward, or even obnoxiously colored are likely to go straight into that special file cabinet we call the waste basket. A good  resumé  fits on one side of a single sheet of white paper. (Note that I say paper, and not cardstock or vellum, let’s keep this simple). That said, there ARE ways to make your piece of white paper and text  a little more eye catching than the others. Have a friend who is a graphic designer? Have them make you a simple, clean personal logo. Use nice typography, but no crazy fonts. Anything that is even somewhat difficult to read is a big no-no, as are Comic Sans and Papyrus (perhaps the two most hated fonts in the design world). The cleaner your resumé  the better.

Knowing Your Demographic: You’re selling yourself to a company, not a group of Bieber obsessed tweens. They want to see your qualifications, not your hobbies. Unless your outside interests directly relate to a position, leave them out. Your prospective employer is a busy person who likely has a huge stack of resumé s towering on his or her desk. So get to the point. This goes back to the single one-sided sheet of paper. You want to include enough relevent information without using fluff and filler and using the most concise language possible. While your vocabulary is certainly very impressive, no one wants to use a thesaurus or sift through a bunch of flowery language to get to the good stuff.

Anyone have any resumé  writing tips out there?

Need more info?  www.damngood.com/jobseekers/tips.html

2 thoughts on “Dusting Off The Resumé

  1. It’s a good idea to make sure you include plenty of action words to describe your duties, responsibilities and accomplishments, since job titles – while they may be impressive (or not!) – don’t usually paint a complete enough picture of what you can do.
    Oh, and here’s another good reason to keep your resume updated and handy: it does wonders for your self-esteem! Keep it on your computer desktop and take a look at it once in a while to impress yourself with your own accomplishments :).

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