If you recall our discussion back in March about Job Search Strategies that Really Work (OBAL 012), we began with the importance of a resume. Resumes are so important that we wanted to dedicate this episode to make sure your resume is Badass! A resume is your calling card to everything that you have done professionally. Careful consideration must go into telling your story. A poorly developed resume will get you a one-way ticket to the recycle bin and you don’t want that!
An employer, in today’s work environment, is going to easily get a stack of resumes for each position they are hiring for. Your time to shine begins when the reviewer moves the resume above yours and ends when they have decided to keep or recycle your resume. We are here to help you maximize this time with our six essential elements to creating a Badass Resume!
The first element is Formatting. I know boring right? There are expectations for what information an employer is looking for and formatting your resume to present your information in the most optimal way is always key. I have seen some drab and boring resumes in my past but I have also seen some amazing ones. The formatting was one of the major differences. Consider the following when you are formatting your resume:
- Contact info – the worst thing you can do is to give a potential employer bad info. You are guaranteeing that you will not get the job. Make sure you have the right phone number, e-mail and social media credentials on your resume.
- Length – More than likely your first page is going to be the only thing they look at when they are making their initial decision. Make sure you have the good stuff viewable on that page.
- Order – A presumed order for a resume is your contact info, objective, experience, certifications and awards, and then references. Anything outside of this is atypical.
- Structure – Presentation is key and a proper structure makes the resume present well. Utilize indents, bullets and font characteristics to assist the reviewer in digesting your resume.
The second element is Customization. If you are truly looking for your dream job, then it’s likely going to be different that you’re current job or those in your past. An effective strategy to finding your dream job is to apply to different type of jobs, all utilizing your awesome skills. However, to stand out amongst the other applicants, you need to customize your resume to speak to that job. Customization involves the following:
- Tailored experience– You will want to personalize your experience to best sell how your experience shows your strengths for this particular position.
- Modify your objective - more than likely you will want to modify your object to speak to the needs of the position you are applying for.
- Re-organize you experience – The position you are applying for could change your emphasis on the order of your experiences. You should always consider showing the most relevant one first.
- Title-smithing – A simple change to your job title can make the difference.
- Match the job description –You are staring right at it. They spent time putting that job description together. Milk it for everything to make your resume stand out.
The third element is a Badass Objective. Your objective is your elevator speech. You have the reviewer’s attention for a short moment. Your objective needs to be concise but meaningful and leave them wanting to read the rest of your resume. Four major hurdles that you need to avoid are:
- Vague – Don’t get lazy on me. A vague objective does nothing for you. Customize it along with your resume.
- Listing your responsibilities – The objective is not the time to list what your responsibilities are. Instead focus on the impacts that you will have due to your experience.
- Too self-focused – You need to put the reviewer in the mindset of you as an employee of their company, not an individual who has done great things.
- Length – Make sure your objective is concise and relevant.
The fourth element is Relevant Experience. As you reflect back on the work you have done for your current and past employers, you can always find elements of that job that made you awesome at a certain task. For example, you may have never had a title of project manager; however I am confident that you have been placed in a position as a leader of a group working on a task or project. Poof, you were a project manager! To stand out, you must make your experience relevant by doing the following:
- Adjust roles – as the example shows, you need to find the parts of your past work that convey your experience to match the position you are applying for.
- Order of your experience – the current of past jobs that convey more expertise to the position you are applying to should be at the top. Remember that the reviewer may not get to the second page if you have one.
- Explain your role – Make sure that you are descriptive enough that the reviewer believes that you are authentic with your experience.
The fifth element is Awards and Certifications. If you have worked at a company the values recognition and awards, you are lucky. Unfortunately I don’t think recognition has been properly valued in the workplace. If you got it though, share it. In comparing resumes of similar applicants, awards and certifications may be what set you apart.
The sixth and final element is Wow Factor. In a crowded space of hundreds of applicants, you need to stand out. You need to shine where others don’t. One of the best examples I have ever seen of this was done by Tracie. She created a video that we will share on our website, which set her apart from everybody else. You must create this WOW for yourself and you will experience the difference.
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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!