Recently I was engaged in a job hunt and had to polish up my resume, after sitting dormant for many years. There are many, many articles, blogs, and books written on how to write a resume. Most of these resources are written by head hunters, job coaches, and professional resume writers. I have read many resources about how to write a resume, but they never seemed to make sense to me.
However, today I had an opportunity to participate in an activity I've never had the chance to do before - I got to screen resumes for a position on our team!
My manager sent out some resumes to the team to review and asked for our opinions. That happened last week while I was off. However, there were no public responses to his request, so when I went in to work today, I printed the resumes and reviewed them. I highlighted the skills that I feel are necessary to perform our daily work. When my manager came into work, I asked him if I could speak with him about the resumes when he had some time available.
As I was going through the resumes, I could see changes that I want to make to my own resume. It was very enlightening to read a resume of someone who wanted the job I so recently applied for. Don't worry, I'm not losing my job, we're adding a consultant to the team to help take up some of the heavy workload we have.
Here are some of the changes I will be making to my own resume shortly.
Highlight pertinent skills near the top of the first page in bullets. I currently have my skills in a grid after my introductory statement. However, when I glanced at a resume that used the same format of a grid that I used, I found it was difficult to interpret the skills that I was searching for. The resumes that had the skills in bullet format were much easier to find.
Use the pertinent skills close to the front and top of the experience bullets. The resume that mentioned the skills we were looking for near the front of their experience bullets, were ones that we were able to scan quickly and make a decision on.
Summarize the environment used at the end of each experience section. This highlights the particular environment the experience was gained in and gives another place the person scanning the resume can look to find required skills quickly.
Add Professional Certifications and Training. I hesitate to use an Education section in my resume, because I have not completed my degree yet. However, I saw a couple of resumes today which highlighted training classes and certifications that fit with the skills we are searching for.
Even though I've read several resources on how to create a resume, the best source I read were resumes from people who were looking for the position I currently have. I learned more reviewing those resumes and comparing them to my own, than from all the other articles, blogs and books I've read on the subject.