Even MORE Resume Tips — What to Highlight — Experience Through References!

As shared within the past 2 blogs–the ‘job’ of your resume is to position and package your talents and your value in a manner which solicits the attention of the reader, in this case, a Hiring Manager or a C-Suite Decision Maker! Ensuring that your resume is seen by an actual human is the first key to success. The second key is to position your resume to highlight ‘the facts’ they ARE seeking in a candidate versus cluttering your resume with commentary which they are NOT looking for. Don’t  drown out what you want them to notice!  This is why your resume is not, ‘one size fits most.’

Resume Tips for Experience Through Reference Sections….

1)  Reminder 1st Golden Rule:  Don’t Lie!  If the interviewer discovers that you are lying or intentionally misleading them, you have just lost that opportunity.  Falsifying information or failing to reveal requested information either on an application or during the interview can be grounds for immediate dismissal.

2)  Reminder 2nd Golden Rule:  Accentuate the Positive!  Minimize what you may be lacking or don’t have at all.  For example, if you are pursing a ‘new industry’ and do not have years of experience–then rename the ‘skills section’ as ‘transferable skills’ and highlight the value and skills you can transfer and bring to the position.

3)  Reminder 3rd Golden Rule:  Avoid Negative or Derogatory Information!  Do not volunteer derogatory information such as arrests, dishonorable discharge, your age or disabilities.  This information can wait until the interview so you can address it honestly, and more importantly, share how you have remedied the situation or behavior, so it will NOT effect your future performance in the workplace.

4)  Experience:  List the most current position first, then work backwards in chronological order.  You only need to go back about 15 years in work history.   Consider dropping positions held for three months or less, to downplay an unstable work history.

5)  Experience:  You may want to leave employment dates off your work history and instead reference in terms of longevity (years and months).  This will serve to minimize large gaps between employment and side-step your concern about being ‘disqualified’ because YOU think you are too young, or too old.

6) Transferable Skills:  Utilize action words to describe the quantitative RESULTS you obtained when applying your skills.  This indicates the tangible accomplishments and contributions you made to your former employer and indicates the types of contributions you will continue to make in your new workplace.

7) Education:  List in chronological order with the most current Institution on top.  If you have a PhD or MBA, you want the reader to know this immediately.  Provide your Degree, Major, Institution, and City, State where you attended.  Do NOT include the YEAR you graduated, unless specifically asked on an application.  If you are currently enrolled–it is wise to state the estimated completion date.

8)  Community Involvement:  List in chronological order with the most current on top.  Section can include coaching positions, athletics, community runs or walks, volunteer positions, boards you serve on, non-profits you support, and memberships or service roles in industry organizations.  Be wise about what is included here–be as relevant as possible–and connect your ‘community involvement list’ to the vision, mission or culture of the potential employer.

9)  Certifications/Honors:  If your industry requires ongoing certifications or licenses, be sure to list them and indicate they are current.  Include Military Honors, Leadership Awards, Community Awards or Graduation Honors.

10)  References:  Include up to (3) Professional & (2) Community Involvement References.  The point here is that you have them–before being asked for them.  Be strategic about who you list and include the ones which are most relevant to the Industry you are pursuing.  Consider how ‘their reputation’ will enhance ‘your reputation,’ just by including their name, title and company.

Next Week–Tips on Virtual Interviewing!

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