Top Ten Tips for Resume Development – 2.0

1. Your resume is not a job description:

Your resume is about your accomplishments – focus on what you’ve accomplished as opposed to what you do each day. Use action verbs like coordinated, facilitated, led, managed or secured.

2. Tell your story

Develop a chronological resume that is easy to follow. Provide a one-sentence description of each position, the name of the organization including the city and state, and then indicate your accomplishments while you held that position. If you had a wide variety of responsibilities, consider creating subheadings such as Human Resources, Financial Management, Innovations, Collaborative Efforts, etc.

3. Data matters

Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. If you supervised employees, indicate the number of employees you supervised. If you were responsible for a budget, indicate the amount of the budget. If you secured a grant, indicate the amount of the grant.

4. Lose generic skills section

Including skills at the top of your resume such as “collaborative, team-oriented and customer service focused” are meaningless without specifics. Use your valuable resume space to outline your accomplishments in these areas.

5. Mind the gap(s)

If you took time off to raise children, provide care for an elderly parent, or secure a graduate degree, say that. This is part of your story and unaccounted for gaps in your resume leave it up to the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks.

6. Include irrelevant experience

If you’ve had experience in a field that you do not believe is relevant to the position, keep it in your resume. First, it may prevent a gap in your resume. Second, more and more employers are looking for candidates with a diversity of experience. For example, if you managed a restaurant while in college, you are displaying valuable skills plus a strong work ethic.

7. Community involvement/volunteerism

Include a section that shows your volunteer activities. Include coaching, service organizations, or not-for-profit groups you may be involved in.

8. Format matters

Your resume can be longer than two pages if it is well organized and you use bullet points to break up the narrative. Send it as a pdf document to ensure that it downloads well. Be sure to include your mobile number and your personal email.

9. Cover letters can get you an interview

Whenever possible include a one-page, well-written cover letter that is specific to the position. Spend time on this document – it is another opportunity to tell your story and for the reader to gain insight into what you value and are passionate about. An e-mail transmitting your resume is not a cover letter.

10. Social Media

Consider a hyperlink to your LinkedIn page as well as any other relevant social media references. Most employers are going to search for you on social media to learn more about you. Be sure you are aware of and managing your public social media presence.

Heidi Voorhees, CEO