By Lori Rubinger, Director, Training and Special Projects
Because people know I am in the employment/career industry, very often people approach me to talk about job search. Of course the conversation usually leads to “Resume talk” and what becomes glaringly clear is that there is a great deal of fear connected to writing a Resume.
I really do get it! When people think about Resumes, a picture of formal sounding words, arranged very precisely on a piece of paper comes to mind. This formal sounding formatted document has the sole responsibility of landing that interview. Many people don’t know what to include in their Resume, and find it difficult to explain what they did in their jobs. No small feat and yes it could be daunting when thought of in that way. I am going to put your mind at ease. Yes, it is a crucial job search document, but you can do it, and I suggest that you do so one-step-at-a-time!
These are the steps I recommend to begin writing your Resume without fear!
Step 1 Commit to writing your Resume. Put it in your calendar.
Step 2 The next critical step is getting to know you, and the best way to do that is to write a product manual about yourself.
It allows you to become aware of all of your capabilities so that you can assess a job position properly and determine if it meets yours and the employer’s needs
It’s a document that you can work from to build your Resume. Some people come back with as many as 10 pages. They experience an increase in confidence at interviews armed with the knowledge and new ideas invoked by these questions. Remember, in job hunting you’re the product. Get to know your product by getting to know yourself! Start by putting down the answers to the following questions:
• What would the perfect job be for you?
• What are three skills you would like to use in that perfect job?
• Name three ways you are qualified for your field.
• What are the top three skills you used at each job listed on your CV?
• Identify three contributions you made at each job on your CV.
• Which of those do you think were most important to your last employer?
• What are three things you learned from each position listed on your CV?
• What are the two things you liked about each job on your CV?
• Why do you think you were hired for your last job?
• What are your top three greatest work accomplishments?
• What marketable skills do you possess that you do not use in your work?
• Describe three times you went above and beyond what was required of you on the job.
• What life lessons have you applied in your work?
• What have you designed, created or initiated?
• Have you trained or taught people?
• Have you ever developed a new process, system or procedure?
• What were you known for within your organization?
• Did you ever satisfy a particularly difficult client?
• When have you accomplished more with less (fewer people, smaller budget, etc)?
• Have you ever been promoted or selected for a special assignment?
• Did you ever receive some form of recognition (award, title, trophy, etc.)?
• Have you increased revenue or exceeded sales targets?
• Did you make a suggestion that was adopted by your classmates, team or coworkers?
• What are three things you learned from your education that you have used in your work?
• What were your three favorite subjects in school?
Step 3: Review your skills in response to industry demands
Now that you are armed with valuable background content about you, your skills and accomplishments, you are really ready to get started. Take a look at what some of the industry demands are in your particular field. What is indicated in the postings as requirements for the job you are seeking? Make a list of those requirements.
There! You have started your Resume and have already done a lot of work! Do you know where to go from here?
The main thing is that you have started the work, and have pushed through the fear. I would always suggest that you do your Resume work in steps, making sure to not feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that you have perceived Resume writing to be.
If you would like more guidance on Resume Writing, please leave me your name, city and email address, and I will send you some useful resources.
Bon Courage!! Good luck!!