The resume is absolutely crucial to the success of any job seeker, especially given the competitive state of today’s economy. For most candidates, the resume is the only thing that most recruiting directors and hiring managers will see that represents them; the qualifications and potential fit of these candidates all boil down to a piece, or perhaps a few pieces, of paper. As a job seeker, if you are to “stand out,” and have any shot of advancing your candidacy, you will need a compelling, well-constructed, and professionally crafted resume.
Reach-Higher has the skills to show you how.
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Sometimes the hardest part of any initiative is getting started, especially if its something as important as a resume. Many times this is due to a lack of structure or guidance. Most individuals that are new to the job market aren’t sure where to begin, and most potential job seekers with an outdated resume never know what to keep on the resume and what needs to go.
Start from scratch…with a pen!
For many, the first tendency when crafting or editing any document, resume included, is to jump onto the computer and start typing. Particularly if you are in the process of merely updating your resume to reflect new jobs, skills, or credentials, this can seem appealing. Unfortunately, it usually isn’t the best method.
Remember, your resume is a reflection of yourself—and sometimes the only thing a potential employer may “see” regarding your candidacy. You want to make sure that it accurately, effectively, and eloquently conveys who you are, in addition to what you have done. By starting the process typing on a computer, you wind up inundating yourself, perhaps subconsciously, with concerns about format, appearance, and language. This can trivialize the most important part—the content.
Content is King
At Reach-Higher, we advise those who work with us to begin by writing down everything they feel they have accomplished—on the job, in school, or on your own onto something called the “Pride List.” When doing this, try to be methodical about it. Think generally at first: for instance, if you are a student, think about your accomplishments for each year of school. Maybe you had an internship? Maybe you were a leader for a specific club or organization? Maybe you managed to inspire change in someone? At this point, don’t worry about the details of everything, or whether it happens to pertain to professional accomplishments, just write!
When you are finished with this process, you will find that you have a healthy list of general accomplishments with little detail. At Reach-Higher, we call this the “pride list,” because it represents the things you have to feel proud about. It might seem scattered, and some items might seem a bit ridiculous, but this list is a candid reflection of you. From here, you can then move on to adding details and choosing the best items to include in your new or updated resume.
Neil Assur is the Executive Director of the Reach-Higher Organization, and a career coach. Reach-Higher offers free career coaching to members of the Boston community. Sign up for free by visiting www.reach-higher.org/jobprep.