Some Tips for Constructing an Appealing Resume: Part 2

Source: Pixabay

By: Marie Donlon

Career Objective Versus Career Summary

Gone are the days when we had to craft a “career objective” detailing our intent for sending out the resume in the first place. In lieu of the career objective, resume professionals are now suggesting that employees include a “career summary” instead. The career summary is a paragraph or a few lines breaking down who you are and what you have done instead of what you want. It gives job seekers a chance to read details about you that might include information that sets you apart from other candidates. Not like the traditional “career objective” that revealed very little about the candidate and often sounded just like every other career objective.

History

Customizing your resume to a specific job lets you design your work history to the specific position that is being advertised. You can exclude things from your standard resume that might not apply to a particular job search. For instance, if you are applying for a position as marketing director, you might be able to leave off the mother’s helper job you held in college. While that information may be valuable for another position you are applying for, it isn’t necessarily applicable here. Learn to spot the differences as you customize your resume.

Likewise, if you are a mature employee and your resume is rather lengthy, go ahead and remove older work that might no longer be relevant. The idea is the same here. You have the content to fill up more than a page; however, some of that content may no longer be impressive amid the years of professional experience that your resume boasts.

If you are including details about former positions you have held, do not let these details convey to the recipient of your resume that you have hard feelings about your former (or current) company. Using negative language will only reflect on you.

While you might not have been paid for the work experience, if you did any sort of volunteer work that might be relevant to your current job search, make sure to include it. Just because you weren’t paid for it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. This also applies to any freelance work you did or any projects you assisted with that were done outside of your day-to-day work.

Education

Do not use education dates when you are listing your degree. It doesn’t matter when you got it; only that you got it. This is particularly important for the mature worker to remember when applying for positions that someone their age may be overlooked for.

Although it is important to include information such as graduating magna cum laude or summa cum laude, avoid including your overall GPA, especially if it was in the B range or lower. Likewise, include the fact that you spent a few semesters on the Dean’s list or other such academic accomplishments.

Skills

Consult any hiring literature and you’ll see that soft skills are becoming a valuable part of the tapestry making up our work history. Skills such as work ethic, time management, punctuality and dependability are becoming as valuable as skills meant for specific industries or technical skills. A blessing for those of us with a degree as limited as say, an English degree …

Final Thoughts

As you prepare to send out your resume, take one final look at the piece. Surely you are sick of looking at it, but look at it as many times as you can stand. Pay close attention particularly to the contact information. Double-check that your phone number and e-mail addresses are correct. You don’t want a potential employer reaching out to thin air.

When you have exhausted this step, make sure to bring friends, family members or trustworthy colleagues to your aid. A second set of eyes will only benefit the piece catching by things you might not have even noticed.

And one of the first things that will catch the eye of most employers and hiring managers will be typos. It is common practice for employers to add resumes with typos to the discard pile, never calling the applicant or requesting additional information.

Your resume is your first impression. Make sure it is clean, organized and error-free … just like you.

Resources

ASME—6 Tips for Writing an Effective Resume

Daily Writing Tips—44 Resume Writing Tips

Monster—The 10 Worst Resume Mistakes to Avoid

The Muse—43 Resume Tips That Will Help You Get Hired