There aren’t many more days of this month before we are into 2016. This is a perfect time to pull out your resume and update it – this applies not only if you plan to move into a new job in the new year. Just as you should be reviewing your credit report yearly (or more often), the same recommendation applies to your resume.
If your resume has collected dust, meaning you haven’t looked at it since you got your job or it’s been some time, think of all of the knowledge, skills and experience you have amassed since then. Do you really remember them all? I would call you on it if you said yes. We do tend to remember the major events or skills but what about the time you helped the boss out with training or being in charge, or you helped out on a project? You might not think they mean something but they do.
You might not think it will matter but I would tell you it does. Everyone needs to have a current resume as that is what good career management is all about. The benefits of doing this are twofold:
1) you will be aware of all that you’ve accomplished – acquiring or using skills, knowledge and abilities, courses or training classes you’ve taken, projects you’ve worked on, leadership skills you’ve acquired, outcomes you’ve achieved in terms of money made/saved, time saved, thresholds reached, speaking engagements or committees you’ve served on, etc. (I’m sure you get the picture); and
2) it will show you what a great worker/employee you are, something that is needed to ensure you are a high performer and know your value, both of which will get you noticed. Your confidence will increase, and you might see some opportunities that you might not have thought you were qualified for, giving you the motivation to apply. An added benefit is for when performance appraisal time comes around to give you leverage on your rating and compensation.
As you never know when an opportunity will come up, whether by choice or chance, you want to be ready to make a move. Ensuring your resume is up-to-date will keep in you at-ready and in control. Make it a practice to review and update your resume, whether you think you need it or not. You don’t want to be surprised or at a disadvantage, do you?
If you need your resume reviewed to better manage your career, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session: http://www.cyscoaching.com
Your resume is meant to give an overview of your achievements and your abilities and translate them to an employer in the hopes of gaining an interview. With your past experiences, you had roles and responsibilities so when conveying them you want to be sure that you are using phrases and words that convey action. You don’t want your resume to read like a job description but to relate your duties to actual actions and outcomes that were achieved.
Here are some samples of action phrases and powerful words that can enhance and emphasize the good work you’ve done:
- Design, develop and deliver
- Implement solutions
- Developed and delivered
- Assessed employee and client training
- Analyzed and evaluated data
- Reduced costs by $_____
- Facilitated problem-solving meetings
- Managed ___ employees
- Created and implemented innovative approaches
- Designed new processes
Some action words to use:
Accomplished Achieved Adapted Adhered Administered Advocated
Budgeted Capitalized Clarified Computed Contributed Counseled
Decreased Defined Demonstrated Directed Discovered Documented
Earned Enabled Enforced Engaged Expanded Established
Facilitated Forecast Founded Fulfilled Generated Headed
Identified Implemented Inspected Investigated Joined Launched
Marketed Maximized Merged Motivated Negotiated Observed
Operated Ordered Organized Participated Performed Pioneered
Planned Quantified Raised Recommended Reduced Reviewed
Scheduled Secured Simplified Submitted Tailored Tested
Trained Transformed Upgraded Validated Worked Wrote
What others would you add to this list? Post your comments below!
If you have done any volunteer work in your lifetime, and you haven’t put it on your resume, you are missing a big opportunity. This is a great way to showcase your philanthropic personality – that you care about others and want to help or give back, and it can also close a gap in your employment history. This is particularly vital if you have been out of work for a considerable amount of time. The thinking now is that if you aren’t working, you must be sitting around and your knowledge base won’t be up to what is needed by an employer.
Through volunteerism, you can learn new skills or strengthen your current ones which could translate well to a job. It also could get you noticed for the work you are doing and could possibly get you a referral to a hirer or even getting hired by the agency. I have known countless of people in organizations that I belong to who have volunteered their time and it has led to a new job for them. If you have done volunteer work, be sure to add it and highlight if you have held any leadership positions. You can tie your volunteer work with the needed skills for positions you are applying for, all of which can show that you have been honing your skills and doing work, even if for free.
If you’ve been sending out resumes and not receiving any calls, then it’s time to look at what information you’ve been submitting, namely looking to see if your resumes includes all of your accomplishments and skills. I see if over and over when working with clients – they negate past accomplishments or job skills as minor or unimportant and leave them off. However, when you look at what they leave on, it is like a story with no ending. Your resume needs to lay out the pieces of your work experiences, like the pieces of a puzzle, so that an employer sees the completed picture. Not doing so leaves them questioning your worth and you risk being put in the “No” pile. You need to create a picture of your work history – what you’ve done in the past, what skills and abilities you possess, and the outcomes you’ve achieved.
Here are steps to help you ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best way:
1. Re-assess – go back and re-evaluate yourself and the past work experiences you’ve had; begin by writing down your skills, talents, abilities, values, past outcomes, job titles, management or training experience, or any other skill-sets. Don’t hold back – just list ALL of them
2. Quantify – with those outcomes, attach numbers to them; for instance, if you managed employees then list how many, of you were responsible for a budget then state the monetary value, i.e. $5million dollars. If you created a system, if you saved money or made money, list them with numbers. Employers will be more interested in specific outcomes and want to see what you can do for them
3. Structure – take those new skills and experiences you’ve identified and put them a resume format that will get noticed. Bullet-point those skills at the top, ensuring that they are desirable for the job you are applying for. In your work history, be sure to put the outcomes you’ve achieved.
Add your education, volunteer experience or any professional associations to give a more rounded picture of your capabilities. Applying for a job these days can feel tedious and nerve-wracking. But if you are strategic and laser-focused then you will have the advantage over others. Ensuring that your resume lists all of your accomplishments will leave an employer with no doubt and get you hired.
I read an article recently about spell check and how it does not always catch every error. So, I thought I’d pass it on:
- Its versus It’s (or any other apostrophes)
- Your versus You’re
- Sales verus Sails
- Affect versus Effect
- Would Have not Would of
- Through versus Threw
- Then versus Than
- Supposed To not Suppose To
- Wonder versus Wander
- Their versus There versus They’re
- Farther versus Further
Do not rely solely on spell check when reviewing any documents; use an outside eye to proofread. Are there any that you have “missed” or have heard of? Would love to hear!