By Hucky Austin
So you want to write your resume and you think the best way to learn how to do it is to go online and find a template to “borrow.” So you just copy and paste one you like, then drop your information into it and then you have a perfect resume, right?
If you want your resume to stand out and be noticed, copying a template isn’t a wise option. Instead, let someone who KNOWS what to look for in a resume assist you. The big mistake most people make is thinking that the resume is just a summary of job experiences and education. It’s not. It’s a powerful tool to pitch you to a potential employer; which means it needs to look fresh and it must allow the reader to quickly assess your MOST RELATABLE skills for the position for which you are applying.
The resume needs to be visually uncluttered. It needs to be in a font that is simple to read and if at all possible, in a typeface that helps to express your personality. You may want to consider purchasing a unique font, but don’t get overly fancy with this. It may include a very simple graphic that serves as a statement as to your overall personal philosophy or perhaps incorporate a quote that is meaningful to you in some way. It should be professional and classy. Think about “branding” yourself so the graphic appears also on the envelope and cover letter. Be creative. If you are a creative person, offer ideas to the person you’re working with to get feedback and to help make your resume one-of-a-kind. Feel free to offer ideas and examples to show the professional writer what is is you like.
Lastly, spend as much time thinking about who you are-and what you have to offer an employer-as you do organizing the informational facts of the resume. Most job seekers are looking at the resume from the wrong point of view; their own. Imagine yourself as the employer reading the resume.
Also, be realistic as to your expectations. Your career objective cannot be an objective for which you do not have the appropriate skills or education or work history. There’s nothing wrong with the desire to move up in your field and to express that in your Career Objective, but it should be a step up that is supported by the body of the resume. (SEE ARTICLE “STEPPING STONES CAN TAKE YOU TO THE TOP“)
A resume is just a sales brochure to get you an interview with the people who will later make the hiring decision. They will want to know how your accomplishments and experience prepared you to meet their needs; how your background matches their job description.
I get a substantial number of resumes from retiring state troopers, police and military personnel. They are probably all very capable, professional people, but if we are looking for a protection or security manager and your resume shows your key accomplishments are “leading the district in DUI arrests”, then we might give the interview to someone with seemingly less street experience simply because they leveraged their management and protection skills in their resume. When you apply for a job, research the company and determine how they make their money. then show them what you can do for them to support their business goals.