As we progress throughout our career, we will ideally gain valuable experience that can be beneficial to other potential employers or to those within our current place of employment. As we work; we will encounter various challenges, projects, tasks, etc. that can result in quantitative and/or qualitative results. The work you performed is important, as it shows the skills that you have acquired, but the results from that work (your career accomplishments) will best show value as employees. It is this value that needs to be described to potential employers to support your case that you are the right employee for the job.
Are you keeping record for your career accomplishments so that you can use them in the future? It can be easy to forget about the various accomplishments you have had throughout your 'tenure' at a job. It is important that you keep a personal record for future reference (certain accomplishments may be more suited to a specific job and can be used as a way to tailor your job search material for that position). It is also important that you add these accomplishments to your job search material periodically, to ensure your materials are up to date and accurately describing the potential value you have as an employee. You never know when you may need it, which is why it is always best to be prepared.
When it comes to describing your accomplishments, a brief
summary which include associated metrics stressing the value you provided, can
be hard to put together at times. Try using the formula "Challenge + Action = Results" to come up with 'accomplishment
statements' that clearly state the value you provided. Remember to use numeric
metrics when possible, percentage, money, etc. (be aware of your audience and
determine the best type of metric to use). When you are not able to use "quantitative
metrics", use "qualitative measurements" by explaining how something was
improved. For example, processes or procedures that saved time or increased
productivity through improved communication. Your ability to present these
accomplishments as statements on your resume and on LinkedIn will help to strengthen
your case when you are trying to express your value as an employee or potential
Consider the different situations you have been involved in
at work that you can use to describe your value. The various challenges, problems,
or tasks that you face in your career cause you to take action which result in
an accomplishment or maybe a failure. Keep in mind, both are going be important
factors in establishing value, as they describe your talent, as well as your
ability to adapt, learn and grow. While focusing on accomplishments made, it is
also important to make note of the failures that you have overcome as well
(these are also accomplishments). Having a story, which describes a failure and
how you adapted, changed and learned from your mistakes, is good evidence of
value provided (although these may not be something you want to put out to the
public for a first impression, they can be beneficial in an interview).
A few things to consider when writing Accomplishment
- Accomplishment Statements On Resumes - More
formalized document where you should include quantifiable metrics to support
your claims whenever possible through concise bulleted statements.
- LinkedIn - Less formalized than your resume and
told in more of a 'story like' fashion but still professional.
- Arrange your statements in order by their
significance (relative to the position you are trying to get).
Identifying your career accomplishments, use the following
questions to better describe your value:
- Did you increase revenue, and by how much
- Were there decreased expenses because of
something you did?
- What did you develop and what problem did it
- What processes or procedures did you improve?
- Did you receive and promotions, awards or
- What outcomes have you generated?
- What needles have you moved?
- You made a positive difference, what were the
metrics used to measure it?
- What makes you stand out from others that do the
same work as you?
- What projects did you work on that were
important to you?
Need some additional help in determining your
Resume Tips from A Manager
Writing Accomplishment Statements
Resume Writing Help
Accomplishment Statement Examples
Do's and Don'ts
The job market has been quite a competitive place for some time now, and it looks like it will only become more competitive into the future. For those of you who are finishing up college this coming May, or for those of you who do not have a lot of work experience, this can be a daunting competition to enter into. However, you do not need to fear it; there have been countless individuals that have gone through the same experience you are about to go through, and countless more who will go through it after you do. When it comes to resume writing, what you need to know in order to get a leg up in this situation, is how to be competitive and make your resume stand out from the all of the other candidates.
We live in a time where there is a 'notable skills' gap in the workplace. Employers are having difficulty finding the right "skilled talent" to fill their open jobs. Yes, experience is very important when it comes to getting a job, but so are your skills! The key to standing out is to emphasize your skills. If you can tailor your resume to highlight your skills that are specifically related to the positions you are applying to, you are off to a good start (assuming that they are the particular skills desired by the employer). You can do this by evaluating job descriptions and their requirements. Next, focus the story being told through your resume by pointing out those skills and how they can be applied to the specific job requirements.
Let's take a look at the various sections of your "standard" resume and see how we can best utilize them as someone writing a resume without a lot of 'experience'.
The typical resume will follow the following format:
The opening summary is used to quickly explain to an employer who you are and what you can do for their company (what value you will bring to the table). This is usually done by summarizing your professional experience and skills. When you have little to no experience this can be hard to do, but it is important that you not waste this precious space. Saying "I want to work in x, y, z job where I can do x, y, z" (the objective statement) is not a good choice, employers know why you are applying...you want a job!
- Instead, try to briefly highlight recent (scholastic) achievements and the skills you used to make them.
- As a recent graduate without a lot of experience, it can be beneficial to list your most relevant skills immediately after your summary section.
- If you are changing careers, this is an opportunity to highlight the transferable skills that you have in a way that relates to the position(s) you are seeking. Use this as a way to tell employers why you are able to do the work in the newly chosen career path.
Some resumes include the 'Education' section at the top of the resume, while others include it closer to the bottom. The information you include here is important regardless of where it is placed, but its placement is more important when you have little career experience.
- When entering the job market or changing careers, and you have recently gone back to school, it is important to include your education near to the top of the resume.
- Include secondary or post graduate education as well.
- Most recently completed should be placed first.
- Do not forget about academic projects or course work. There were valuable skills and experiences that you have taken from these. If you include these, and you should, they should be labeled as such.
Professional Experience / History
This is the tricky part for most people with little work experience. This section is normally where you discuss the prior roles you have had throughout your career. Even if you are just starting out in your career, you will have relevant experience that you can include (it just may not be specific jobs). What you do not want to do is only have a sparse amount information here or to have too much "padded" non-relevant information here.
- Every part-time job you had growing up, while in school or graduate school is not important.
- Relevant experience is what counts. This experience does not have to be paid work and can include; internships, volunteer work, academic extra-curricular experiences that show growth, leadership or that provided you with some relevant skill and/or valuable experience.
- If you are changing careers, relevant experience may be difficult to explain. What needs to be included here, are the transferable skills from your prior experiences, how they were used, and how you can apply them to a new career. These will most likely be soft skills needed within the workplace (your technical skills may be too niche). It is important to display your ability to lead, as well as the ability and willingness to learn, grow and collaborate in this situation.
If you have industry specific skills you should list them. Include technologies you have expertise in and those you are proficient in using.
When writing a resume without having much experience it can be difficult to express your qualifications through relevant experience. Therefore, you need to dig deep into the experience you do have. As someone changing careers, consider any transferable skills you possess that are applicable. These are the skills that the other candidates applying may not have, which you do as a result of your previous career path. As a recent graduate or soon to be graduate, the experiences you had and skills that you learned in college are important and they were not in vain. It just takes some thought on how to best show your value. You may not have a lot of 'real world' experience at this point, but you did make it through college. You met deadlines for the various projects and rigorous coursework you had; what were the skills used when completing those? Research, coordination, collaboration, time management, etc.
A Functional Resume format which lists your professional work experience (to show you what you have accomplished in a professional setting without labeling your experiences by specific employer and title) followed by a Work History, which just lists where you have worked (to show you have worked before), might be an option to consider.
Spring is fast approaching and with it, something that usually pops up on everyone's list of "things to do"...Spring Cleaning (take your pick of what part of the house it may be) but, it is going to be there! However, spring cleaning does not just have to refer to your house. There are many applicable parts of your life which could use a good cleaning up or refreshing this time of year. For instance, think about your career.
This is not saying that you are doing poorly or that you need to change your job for any given reason. But what if you had to make a move, or find a new job? Are you ready to undertake that task? More importantly, are your job search materials up to the task? There is no time better than the present to make sure that you are ready to meet any career challenges head on, you can do so with a little Career Spring Cleaning.
Clean up your resume:
It may have been a while since you dusted that old resume off and made sure it was up to date. This is important to do as, you never know when you may need it and how quickly. Doing so annually will help to ensure your most recent accomplishments are accurately recorded.
- Update your resume to your reflect your current job.
- Edit your bullet points to highlight the things that you have accomplished at this position since your last update.
- Edit your previous entries so that they best reflect your strengths and accomplishments from those positions.
- Relate them to the current position you have in order to show growth where possible.
Clean up your Social Media profiles
It is easy to let these fall behind, however, they are becoming more and more important in shaping your career. It is not only important to keep your LinkedIn information up to date and informative about what you are doing in your career, but keep your other Social Media profiles in mind as well.
- Make your LinkedIn profile current; update your summary to present yourself in a way that not only highlights what you are doing, but incorporates what you are aspiring to do in the future.
- Include your relevant career keywords and make sure every section is complete to make your profile more easily found.
- Update your security and permissions so you are visible to your desired groups of people. Keep in mind that these change from time to time. Therefore it is important for your career and your personal information security to stay informed of what you are allowing people to see on social media. "If you do not want people to see something, you probably should not be doing it anyway...and you definitely should not be posting it." What you need to know about social networking security
- If you use multiple social channels in your professional life make sure that your message across those channels is consistent. Employers look on more than just LinkedIn to find out about your career. Again, if you do not want potential employers to see those profiles, adjust your privacy settings.
- Check your online reputation; search yourself in Google and see what appears. Run an image search as well. Get rid of photos that do not reflect you in a positive light.
Attend to your Skills and your Network:
It is never a bad time to brush up on your skills or to learn some new ones. When you are making an effort to stay on top of your job search materials be sure to add to your tool kit. Just like most things, your network can benefit from some attention as well!
- As time goes by and work piles up it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry. Take some time to catch up.
- The skills we have can get rusty without proper attention. Update your industry specific skills to keep up with progress, brush up on the soft skills you already have and even learn a new skill to better yourself for future endeavors.
- Attend to your network, both internally and externally. Your network can benefit from your help, and you may need theirs down the road. Develop new relationships and nurture the ones you have. Do not let your connections stagnate any longer.
While you think about your upcoming "spring cleaning" this year, do not forget to commit some of your time to your career spring cleaning. Not only will you be prepared if something were to happen, but it is a good way to evaluate where you are at in your career and help you to plan out how to make positive movement toward your goals. Remember, you can do this outside and enjoy the new found spring weather at the same time!
If you are one of the many people looking to make a career change or find something new within your current field of work, you will most likely find yourself questioning a lot about yourself and the job market. That is not a bad thing, it is actually a great course of action to take, especially when wondering how employable you are. In a period of time (such as now) where there is a quickly changing job market, a noticeable "skills gap" and a changing workforce, it can be easy to wonder about employability; if and where you are needed.
Think about supply and demand. What you have to offer, and how much an employer needs you, is what it comes down to. Whenever you are thinking about making changes in your career, it is important to develop a refined understanding of your personal ability and aspirations, as well as the job market. Without first understanding the type of employee you are, the skills you possess and how you want to apply them to your career, it will be difficult to assess how employable you are. Possessing confidence in your abilities is strength that is needed for success in your career, but not having a realistic view of your abilities can hold you back. Effective self-evaluation can prevent that.
This begins with developing an understanding of who you are and an understanding of what you want to do followed by your ability to do it. You are the one who defines your career. The choices you make will be affected by your personal aspirations and a solid understanding of these will allow for better choices to be made. A broad range of interests/aspirations will be more likely to present greater opportunity to be employed as long as the required skills are there. Over time, some of these things will change, but knowing what makes you tick, what you are good at, the environments you like to be in and the people you like to surround yourself with, that will go a long way in helping you to develop in a career aligned with your goals.
Ask yourself a few introspective questions like the following, to help establish the backings of a career identity:
- What do you want to fix in the world?
- What topics are you drawn to when you read or watch the news?
- What kind of conversations get you excited?
- What about the world makes you mad?
- What about the world makes you happy?
When you ask these questions, but start applying "Why", instead of "What", you can find common relationships that you can apply within your career and broaden your scope of employment opportunities according to your interests.
The exact job title of what you aspire for is not important, it may not be currently accessible to you or it may not even exist. However, the ability to define your aspirations through knowledge of yourself and the job market you are in, makes it more likely for you to find something that is properly aligned with your ability to be employed. However, there needs to be reasonable expectations put into place. Just because a job sounds good and is aligned with your personal aspirations, there is no guarantee you are employable.
Where is your value as an employee? Do you have the skills necessary for the job? It is necessary to understand your capabilities as an employee and how you can apply them towards the position:
When evaluating your employability, self-assessment of the skills that you currently have requires honesty and validation. Beyond a labeled skills set; dig in and analyze the skills you possess, how you have used them, how they can be improved, and what you are missing (what is needed to work in the job market, that you do not have).
- How were the skills used?
- What responsibilities required you to use them?
- What were the outcomes?
- Were the outcomes successful or were targets met/surpassed?
Once you have evaluated both your personal aspirations and your existing skillset you can better define your employability. Apply your full assessment of yourself to what the company requires and is offering regarding a particular job. Always think about what you are trying to do and where you are selling yourself before attempting to make a change in your career. Is what you possess going to provide a solution to a pain point of the company? How badly does that company need you to be the person who to address it?
Knowing how employable you are will help determine the trajectory of your career path as it will help you make informed choices in where you are searching for jobs and what types of jobs you are more prone to getting when you apply.
till trying to find that ideal job? Do not get caught up in
a world of doubt, there is a place out there for you. It may take some work to
get there (it is highly unlikely to just fall into your lap), but we all have
to start somewhere. The first thing is to develop an understanding of yourself,
what you want, and what you need to do to get there. In many cases, it will be
a series of jobs that bring full understanding of these, as time changes so
REMEMBER, if you have yet to find your dream job, you are
not alone. Millions of people are also still looking. There are a few things to
consider, a trifecta if you will. When applied to a specific job and the
company it is for, you can better determine if the job is on a path towards
your dream job.
*Note, these are not
set in stone. Priorities are different for everyone and there are a lot of
factors to consider, but this is a reasonable way to start your search:
Ask yourself the following:
What you love to do?
Does the company do this as well?
Does the physical work include this?
What you are good at doing?
Does the company need these talents?
How can your talents benefit the role?
Will you be able to improve upon your talents
What pays well? (Be reasonable, this is
necessary for meeting your financial obligations)
What skills do you have that you can monetize?
What types of positions utilize your skillset?
Ideally, you want to do the work you love, you should excel
at doing it and be able to support yourself while doing so. However, it can be
hard to find something that suits all of your wants. It is in the combination
of these that you can find opportunities that are more likely to follow a path
to your dream job.
Research the company where the job is, take the company into
as much consideration as the work itself.
Where is the overlap? As you research the jobs you are
interested in applying to, consider the overlap in your trifecta versus what
the job has to offer. More often than not, there will have to be some compromises
made. For instance; a company produces something you absolutely love. Your
skills are needed at that a job and you possess the same types of values as the
company. However, it pays a little less than you would like. Can you make the
compromise to make a little less money to do something you will enjoy every day?
With all of the qualities you value that overlap, will the money be the
decision maker or will the possibilities the job offers be the path you take?
The role that you believe to be your "dream" job may not
actually be attainable at the moment, and that is okay. This is when you need to
be steadfast in your pursuit. Just because you have yet to attain a necessary
skill set for the role or there are other circumstances that are keeping you
from getting it, taking just anything is unacceptable. You need to position
yourself correctly at these times, finding an acceptable position that will
meet some of your requirements, but also allow you to progress toward your end
goals. This may not be easy or the preferred route but, sometimes that is what
Are you a "jack of all trades"? A "renaissance man"? Someone
of many talents, but an expert in none? The job market that we are seeing today
has been and will continue to be shaped by changing technology. Look at the
skills gap that we currently have. Yes, it might be greater in some areas and
less in others, but regardless of the industry, we are seeing knowledge gaps
being created due to the need for specific and changing skill sets.
There are many opinions on the ways that our society as a
whole can work together to close these skills/knowledge gaps; many beginning
with the education that we receive needing to be more geared to STEM skills. Bridging
the gap for the future of our workforce is very important. The steps to do so
need to be taken early on in our scholastic careers to really fine tune the
skills needed to be successful in such a dynamic job market. However, those of
us already in the workforce can help to bridge the gap as well.
Learning a new skill, may be just what you need to fit into
one of those specialized areas. This is not saying that you have to master
nanotechnology (although it is a growing field) but that you make the effort to
improve upon your existing skillset to stay competitive in an evolving
marketplace. However, going back to college to attain another or advanced
degree is very costly, it may be something you want to do in the future, but
cannot right now. It is okay, there are other options for you to work at
improving your skills in an affordable way.
The first thing that you should do as an employee who wants
to learn or get more experience in a specific area in your career, is to ask.
Approach your supervisor and ask how you can get more experience doing x, y, or
z. Most employers want their employees to learn to be able to contribute in
multiple ways, not to mention this shows initiative as an employee.
If that does not work or you want to take things into your
own hands here are 8 affordable ways to help you specialize in your career:
Time, it's one of those things that we are never truly happy with, unless we are making the best of it. We need to do our best to manage time to make the most of it; to efficiently and effectively complete our work. Sometimes the stress we feel from being overburdened is not a result of having too much work or not enough time to complete it all, but rather from our inefficient use of the time we do have.
We all get busy, overwhelmed and distracted at times, but with a little effort, we can overcome these issues to better manage our time. Here are a few starting points to help you take back control and manage your time like a pro:
Prioritization - Having multiple tasks that need to be accomplished on the same day or that will have competing future deadlines is inevitable, understanding priority of the tasks and what it will take to accomplish them is extremely important. The following article discusses the use of the "Priority Matrix" in order to help manage time.
- This model allows for you to prioritize tasks by judging their Importance vs. Urgency in order to decide what to Do First >> Do Next >> Do Later >> Don't Do
- It is noted that neither importance nor urgency are fixed and you should re-evaluate your task list periodically to adjust for any changes.
Scheduling - To do lists are a great way to help you manage your work load and can help you to rationalize the importance of the tasks you have to complete. However, without putting a deadline on those tasks it can be easy to push them to the side due to no urgency. Doing your best to "stick" to determined deadlines (even if they are not cemented in the ground) is a critical component to efficient time management.
- Scheduling your tasks for the day according to urgency will help keep you on track through set goals. Schedule future tasks (these are singular tasks or projects) for the week or month if you can.
- If you have recurring tasks that will need to be completed daily but do not have a specific dead line incorporate into your schedule but try do so consistently, same time, same day. Blocking off time specifically for those tasks will allow you to manage the time you have for other tasks while ensuring they will be completed that day.
Focus - Is your attention being taken away from the tasks you are working on too easily? Focus can be broken in many ways; from wasting time on social media or watching emails coming in to an array of distractions in the office. However, one of the biggest contributors to loss of focus is multitasking, your time and efforts are better utilized when you focus on completing one activity at a time.
- Eliminating distractions around you may not always be something you can control completely but, there are certain things you will be able to do to decrease them.
- Close programs that you do not need open in order to complete a task or turning off instant notifications for email or social media for instance.
- You know the things that distract you, take initiative and get them out of your way before starting the task at hand.
"You may delay, but time will not."
Conceptually, time management is easy to understand and provide corrective measures for, but putting these actions into practice can be a lot more difficult. It will take some extra effort on your behalf. An ineffective approach to time management can be difficult to change, and like most bad habits a little effort can go a long way when trying to improve your time management!
ith each passing year the job market landscape continues to
change thanks to the changing economy, technology and consumer needs. With 2016
here and underway we cannot help but wonder what this year will have in store for
us, especially when it comes to the job market and hiring trends. Right now, it
seems as though the job market will continue to improve throughout next year as
it did in 2015. Ziprecruiter.com has ranked the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area as number 4 in its list of top job
markets for 2016 with its top 5 industries being Healthcare, Insurance, Retail,
Events and Hospitality/Restaurant. We can agree there, and can add that we personally
saw more Technology and Accounting jobs coming through our office in 2015 as
well. The article mentions that "low job competition and unemployment point to
Albany's continued economic success in 2016". While this may be true for some
industries, competition in the job market for many job seekers is still tough. Companies
want the best employees, and in order to attain one of those positions job
seekers will need to be presenting themselves as the best candidate out there.
Many companies hire in the first quarter as a result of new
hiring budgets; that has influenced many people who are currently employed to
be on the lookout for new opportunities. Job seekers are more open to moving jobs
today than they have been in recent years. They are not only more willing to
look, but also more confident in their ability to attain a better job, even
with a "skills gap" or a still rebounding economy. Due to this continued
upswing in employee movement, employer branding will continue to be very
important for employers in 2016. Job seekers are not desperately looking and
willing to take the first bite, those endowed with desired skill sets, seek out
the positions and employers that are more fitting to their values. To attain
them, employers need to first attract them.
The downside to this is that competition for job seekers is
still very high and employers still want the best of the best. There is no real
change here, but the means of acquiring employees with the skills and desired
traits is evolving. Companies are shifting their hiring practices to find and
hire talented employees that they can mold into top performing employees. Improving
technology has continuous effects on the way we work (in all industries, things
are changing and will continue to change), the ability to continuously learn
and take initiative to grow is extremely important as a result. The motivation
to learn and perform well now and for the future are important traits to have
as a job seeker in 2016. However, this does not mean that employers are not
going to be selective about who they hire; beyond skills, cultural fit is
increasingly important in improving employee engagement and performance. As
this past year has shown us, there has been an increase in the amount of time it
takes to make a hire, which is likely to continue in 2016, as these traits are
sought after by more and more employers.
Employers and recruiters have been introduced to an
increasingly wide variety of resources in which they can search for and acquire
talented potential employees. Since both employed and unemployed job seekers
are the ones using these resources to find their next best opportunity, there
is continued need to improve personal branding online this year. Finding your
niche and just staying in that little area will not cut it anymore. Branch out,
become influential and resourceful to communities outside of your niche to
broaden your horizons. Note that, referrals are still a top method used by
employers to find quality people; it's all about who you know or who your
network knows. Don't sell yourself short, back up that referral with what you
have online, employers will be looking.
If you are looking for a new job in 2016, be wary of casting
too wide of a net as a job seeker. By doing this you may not find the best
opportunity. This is not to say do not look in unexpected places, it just means
to put in the work and apply to the best opportunities, customize your resume
specifically for the job you are applying to, connect and communicate with
employers and their networks. Do not just blindly apply to anything within
reach. Look for the opportunities that can help you to grow professionally,
that align with your career goals. 2016 brings a clean slate and a new hope to
finding the perfect fit!
Beyond the hustle and bustle of the holidays and busy work
schedules this time of year presents many of us with the opportunity to think
of the different things and people that we appreciate and are thankful for. This
is great, as it helps to close out the year on a high note and can help to
inspire us. Sometimes, it's not even the big things that people do, but the
small things that can truly inspire us and encourage us to be our best selves. We
just have to be open to these experiences and allow them to stimulate our
Take a moment to look around and to think about, the things
or people that inspire you. Can you think of a few? It is important to understand
what these things are and to not confuse them with what motivates you. The
difference is, inspiration is internal, whereas motivation is external. Think
of it as guidance versus being pushed, when doing something. If you understand
what you really want and surround yourself with the things that interest, stimulate,
and encourage you; inspiration, that internal compelling desire to do
something, may arise.
With the end of the year approaching and the holidays very
near, use this time to open yourself to inspiration so that you can take on the
challenges of the upcoming year with an inspired approach to life and your
Identify what inspires you and how it inspires you.
Inspiration can come from anything and it can
come in a big wave or in small amounts. Whatever way it comes, it is an experience
that you have to be open to. By making the effort to surround yourself with the
things you like/love/have interest in, you increase your chances of being
Experiences can inspire you in different ways. Keep
in mind that not all experiences will directly affect YOU. There are the events
that happen to other people, places and things that we have an emotional draw
to (that peak our interest in some way) that can inspire you as well. Think
about the things that have been the cause of some inspiration for you in the
past. What is the common theme among them? This theme can help you to define
what may inspire you.
Note that not all inspirational moments come
from your best emotional experiences, but it is the experience, nonetheless,
that create emotional response and guides your actions if you let it.
Allowing inspiration to affect your self-improvement.
Being open to inspiration and learning from your
experiences is one thing, but application of what you have learned and positive
internal influence from an experience is when you are truly inspired.
Failure is a part of our lives. We all experience
it at some point or another; hopefully we use it to grow. We just need to stay inspired,
get back up and improve. The openness that was brought up earlier is exactly
what we need to allow ourselves to be inspired; we can't force it to happen.
Applying your inspiration toward your personal life and your
Things that make you think and things that make you
feel are going to encourage inspiration. However, without the openness to them
and then the initiative to apply them to your goals, inspiration isn't truly
Set your goals, be aware of the actions you need
to take to achieve those goals, then apply your inspirations to achieve those
The actions (creations) stimulated on by your desires
are the true inspiration.
Inspiration may come when it is least expected so be ready
to take advantage of those moments when it does happen and keep them in mind
for ways to apply them to your everyday life!
Before choosing exactly how to say everything you need to on your resume you will first need to decide on a resume format. The way in which you present your information will help to define its importance and help you in they way your story is told.
Page structure is very important, but lets make one think clear; first things first.
One of the more common ways to begin a resume is with an "objective statement" but you shouldn't....JUST DON'T; unless you are a new job seeker fresh out of school and you have no prior experience. Wait, that's still not a good reason to have an objective statement. Basically, the recruiter/hiring manager reviewing your resume understands that you are trying to get a job and grow as a professional, so don't waste that valuable space telling people what they already know!
Instead of an objective statement utilize a "Proposition Statement" by defining the benefit you will bring to the company. You more than likely were required to get an internship in school which has given you real business experience. In addition, you may have joined clubs or groups at school, you learned "x" in school, or there is that volunteer work you did. There are plenty of things you can include that summarize your strengths and abilities, and how you can apply them specifically to the jobs you are applying for.
Resume Format Selection
Different work histories or career aspirations may call for different types of formatting on a resume. For example, someone looking to show their extensive work history may benefit from a chronological format or someone looking to change careers may benefit from displaying their transferable skills in a functional format. No matter what the chosen format is, the goal will always remain the same. That is, to best display your ability to benefit the employer. Below, are the most common resume formats being used today.Chronological - Current or most recent work experience is listed first, followed by your career history going down chronologically. This is a great way to display your experience and progress as a professional in a clear and concise manner.
Chronological Resume Sample
Functional - Emphasizes your most relevant skills in relation to the job you are applying for over the individual jobs you have done. These skills are backed up by accomplishments, problems solved, and how the skills allowed you to improve business (metrics improved). However, it is possibly the least favored format by hiring managers/recruiters as it is "unconventional" and creates less focus on where and when you were previously employed (a big factor looked at by employers). So be sure to be able to back up your work dates if asked about them.Functional Resume Sample
Combination - Uses a variation of chronological and functional formatting. This format is great to show both vertical and lateral movement within one company over a period of time as well as periods of work at other companies. This type of resume is not the most popular; however, it can be very useful if you are making a career change or have a complex work history and need to show how you can apply your prior experience to a new position.Combination Resume Sample
Visual and Content Hierarchy
We have all written papers for school at some point in our lives. Think back on how you wrote a paper and the hierarchy you created within the content. The introduction / thesis statement, creates a central theme or point that you support throughout the paper. The body of the paper keeps a consistent theme but is broken down into sections that explain and support your thesis.
- In the case of your resume, the introduction/thesis statement is your proposition statement.
- Following your chosen format the different areas will support and explain that statement.
- Everything that you include should be strengthening your overall message.
Typography / Layout
A resume should be written in a similar way to a paper, although in a much less (for lack of a better word), wordier structure. However, specific visual indicators in a resume can do wonders when it comes to it being reviewed positively. Think about the visual implications of how you lay out your text. Large blocks of text will blend together and not catch the eye of the reviewer(s) as they scan the document.
- Concise bulleted statements are easier to scan and are more likely to resonate with the reviewer, rather than being distracted by or overlooking a large block of text.
- How you use your fonts will also create hierarchy. The use of bold and italic fonts will differentiate between important areas of text.
- Font size and color will also help to draw the reviewer's eye to the important areas of your resume.
- The arrangement of titles and dates in combination with font choices (size, style, color, etc.) will label areas of important information, besides titles and dates spacing is important as well.
- Try to keep job related information together (like if a couple of bullet points stray off on to the next page).
- Use white space to your advantage, it helps to define your different content areas. Filling every open area of a page with text may help to keep all the information on one page however, this is not necessary.
- Multiple pages are fine if that is what is required. Using tables to block out as much information as possible on one page is distracting and can take away from the value of what you are trying to highlight.