So your project just wrapped up or your company lost that big government contract and had to make some cut backs…. What now?
Well first off you need to brush the dust off of that resume that’s been sitting in a desk drawer or in a buried file cabinet for the past 2 years. Chances are that original resume you crafted in your senior year at IU simply isn’t going to cut it, so trash it and start from scratch. Then call up that recruiter (Chris Alter) that you’ve been working with over the past few months, then ask him what the job market looks like and what sort of resumes have been successful. He will say that it’s all about tailoring your resume to highlight the specific skills in your arsenal for each position.
Numbers, Accomplishments, Verbiage, and Typos!
The devil is in the details. I don’t mean that I want an explanation of what you did on March 23rd, 2004 or that you saved the company $4,765.78 that week. Numbers are great, but only ones that are relevant AND demonstrate an accomplishment.
Tell me that you worked on a successfully completed a $3.4M project that utilized a team of 25+ resources, spanned a 17 month period, which focused on the implementation of Business Objects into the Finance and HR departments. See what I did there? I told you exactly what I did for almost a 2 year period in ONE sentence. If that isn’t your bag, go with bullet points that state: Size, Scope, Duration, Type of Project.
Another point to be aware of is Verbiage. Make sure that if it happened in the past, your verbs are in past tense (if it’s happening now, make it present tense). I know this sounds very basic, but you would be shocked how often some writes “I am currently…” about something that happened in 1999.
Also verbs should show action. Here is a list of verbs that are easy to work in:
Now that you have crafted the perfect resume, do not let the incorrect use of there/their or your/you’re or even the infamous two/too/to mistake happen to you. It will make the impression that you just spent 15 minutes on your resume, not the 7 hours your actually did. Too (yes I am aware) of the easiest ways to avoid this mistake are: 1) Do NOT use contractions, 2) Actually have someone besides yourself proofread it!
If you worked at one organization for 4 years and another for 2 months, the organization that you spent 4 years at should have a lot more detail.
If you are highly technical, provide a skills summary that shows all of the pieces of technology that you are familiar with, how many years of experience you have, and when the last time it was used.
If after reading this blog, you still do not think that you are heading down the right path, just give me a ring and I can walk you through it.