A little planning goes a long way. Let’s consider 5 Things To Do Before Writing Your Resume
- Determine your Target. What do you want to do? Don’t say, “I’ll take anything”, because the “One Size Fits All” doesn’t work. Today’s resume needs to be specific. If you are unsure of your target, consider completing a self-assessment process and/or speaking with a career counselor or coach.
- Research your Target. It is important to have concrete evidence on what is needed to achieve your target. In addition to “good ‘ole Google”, business directories, social media pages, and your local public library are all excellent resources for research.
Goals at this phase include
- Define your “Brand.” I like Joshua Waldman’s definition of “personal brand”: essentially, where steps 1 and 2 above intersect:
- A list of target organizations
- A keyword list – necessary for writing your resume
- Target audience. Who are the decision-makers in the hiring process?
WHAT IS A BRAND?
“Branding” is also the image you present to the world. Understanding what makes you unique and your value to your target audience are part of this process. Success or Failure depends on whether your audience (not you) understands your message.
- List your Accomplishments. Target them to your “Brand.” Tip: this will be a breeze if you’ve completed Step 2 thoroughly and honestly.
4. Write Descriptive Phrases for your Resume. When in doubt, keep in mind that your audience will want to know
- You can do the job
- You have a positive work attitude
- You are a good fit within the company’s culture and environment
5. Finally, you’re ready to Structure and Write your Resume. Start by dividing your resume into 3 sections (tip: distribute the key words from Step 2 throughout your resume):
- Summary. Captures the reader’s attention.
- Experience. Specific accomplishments focused on your brand and target audience.
- Education. Degrees, certifications, training, and/or professional development that demonstrate a commitment to your “brand.”
Remember: a resume’s purpose is to obtain a phone call/interview, not to chronicle your entire work history. Keep your writing brief.