HOW TO CREATE A RESUME THAT SELLS
I wouldn’t claim to be the best in making resumes but I have at least a decade of experience in making my own and some close fellows’ resumes. From my own experience, my resume had been a point of interest for recruiters/employers to invite me straight to the final interview. Modesty aside, I have had several interviews where their opening statement were “I love your resume”, “Your resume by far is the best that I’ve seen”, “You have a great profile”. Perhaps, that’s how I grew my passion for continuously improving my resume and that of others. Aside from the fact that I am also a professional recruiter myself and have processed hundreds and thousands of resumes already.
If this article interests you so much that you are still reading it, you maybe someone who is 1) a grown up looking for a new job / career / opportunity; 2) a first-timer in the saga of job hunt; or 3) someone who just the same as I was, is looking for ways on how to improve things. Whoever you are, I hope my pointers can help you achieve your desired outcome. I will share with you a synthesised theories and experiences in creating the resume that sells.
I am hoping that you are reading this article way ahead the time that you are already frustrated on why employers are not calling. Because that way, I can tell you that the realm of workforce out there is more than just about pay check. There’s more to it than money. So if you are still a student, please take as many volunteer works or crash courses as you can on your free time. I have never seen a successful candidate who put the number of beaches or mobile games they’ve visited and played as a career vantage point in a resume. In short, have time to be sensible!
If you are in high school or in college, you are probably hoping that someday you will find a job that you love and make a living, sure it will come but not as breezy as you thought it would be. You have to think of the tough competition. Just imagine, how many are you in your course, then how many universities/colleges offer the same course throughout the country, then how many countries all around the world are producing the same profession as in your area. Not to mention, how many job opportunities there is for professionals in your genre. Chances are, you may be able to finish your field of study but may end up not practicing it because of the scarce opportunities in the same profession. I am telling you this not to scare you but to make you realise that the competition is steep and that you need to be creative enough to make future employers choose you over other candidates by means of fair and square competition. So again, start making your experiences resume- worthy.
As first-timer, I don’t expect you with lengthy of work experience to put in your resume. But if you have done at least every now and then what I was talking about earlier, you can at least put sensible “fillers” in your resume. Of course, it’s important that your resume includes your name, contact details, education, work experience (if any) and other information that can make you purpose-fit for the role you are applying for. You may wish to also include the following:
Volunteer Engagements - whether it’s paid or not for as long as you were immerse to do a person’s job you can put it
Trainings and Development - at some point you may be wondering why you were asked by your college to attend a number of symposiums or trainings in the past. Other than knowledge and training, it’s one form of building social and people connections
Thesis - this is important! Most especially if your thesis has established a great deal of well-founded thought / knowledge / information. If you think you’ve never been a writer, if you have completed your thesis, you can say you have tried to be one once
Business - some of you may have been able to start something small that earns you money while you were on a semestral break or even while you were studying. If you think you can expound on what motivated you to start something and your experiences, both ups and downs, sure you can include them as professional experience
Extra-curricular Activities - if you have been into sports or even just a fun-run with a cause, you can include them as part of your advocacies. Your resume is not always about experiences but also about the things that you are passionate about. If it can show people that you are a person who has the “maturity” at a young age to devote time and effort for the causes of your church, community and of other people then it’s resume- worthy as we say it
GROWN-UP JOB SEEKERS
I will no longer go to that “sensitive” part on why you are seeking job time and again. I simply understood that you need a new job right now. If you have been in the same job and employer for at least 2-3 years now - take heart! Today is the right time to re-assemble your profile and see how far have you gone so far.
As for me, I needed to re-evaluate my profile a year after my first job, there was recession and I have been lucky enough to felt the “last in, first out” workplace unspoken system. Hence, I took advantage of the many great facts about my first job. First is the reputable name of the company. It’s more than enough that it is a world renown car manufacturing company. But I made sure that recruiters/employers know that I was absorbed from on-the-job training. I thought it would establish the fact that I am cream-of-the-crop. I also made it clear during the interview that I was asked to stay of different position just to be with the company but chose to move out to practice my profession. And that’s the spirit. By God’s grace, I managed NOT to look pathetic that I was in dire need of any job after about a month of being bum then (laugh). I also helped that I was sent to many internal and external company events and programs. My 1 year in that company was so productive that I filled up my entire resume. My real dilemma (and was a good problem) was how to trim down the unnecessary details in my resume. It took me over 100x modifications.
Our main point here is your resume should be able to help you stand out and shine. Let’s face it, there’s more people than there’s job ideal to our preferences. Your first and last priority is what important: to make a living for you and your family. Use it as motivation to strive harder and harder each day. So, you have to make sure that when they check your current or former employer, they would be able to say no bad history about you. In simple language, as much as possible, don’t burn bridge with your employer. Your resume must have the following:
Accomplishments - it can help you big time if you are able to keep track of your accomplishments per position you held. Your achievements’ description must clearly showcase on why you are/were a success in your current/previous position. Your future recruiter/employer would want someone who can bring in new and great things to their company. So avoid anything that would make you appear as somebody to be trained. Hold up to your accomplishments, years of experience, and be confident. Take pride that for the x- number of years you have participated as a productive member of your organisation. And therefore, is an ASSET.
Professional Development - when you are already a professional, any training, symposium, study, certification and/or affiliations can all be considered as professional development. It simply says “Hey look, I am working and still conscious that I should continue to grow and get updated”. Or what Stephen Covey calls “Sharpening the Saw” as one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The principle is very straightforward, at any given point in our lives, we should consciously devote a time to improve our skills, increase our knowledge and enlarge our territories.
Advocacies - work hard, play hard is a very common mindset these days. But often times we still couldn’t find satisfaction in gaining professional and personal achievements. We needed to break free from the routine of working hard and compensating your self with leisure and it’s only possible to find the balance by investing time with others. If you are volunteering at church, in your community, or wherever. However seldom or often that belongs to your advocacies. These are the causes that you find important and is taking action about. It’s enough proof that you have the will and the power to serve others. That somehow send the message that you’re not that type as “me, myself and I” King/Queen. Because workplaces hire someone that is a team player and will not hire someone to boss people around. It simply doesn’t make sense.
When building your resume, it is also very important to keep in mind of your professional/career goals and aspirations. It would shape the way you are presenting your profile to your prospective employer. It can help you build the ideal scenario that you’ve always wanted. So, if you want to be in a leadership position, then show leadership accomplishments in everything that you do i.e. supervised x- number of staff, managed x- amount of project, contributed x- amount of savings etc.
There is thousands of blogs out there that would tell you about the correct format, right wordings, and all other resume essentials. You can take reference in all of these. What important is you understand that your resume is YOU. It can make or break the career opportunity you are praying for. YOU must first believe that you can offer unique growth opportunities for the organisation you are seeking to be part of. For me, a blockbuster resume is that hard-earned personal and professional experiences, truthful, honest, competent and persistent.
Need help in building your resume? Please feel free to send them in. Simply join our career forum here: https://www.mrikigai.com/ask-me/career and I will be more than happy to help you build your resume and see you take your path to an awesome future. It’s all for FREE!