Tips and Tools to Make You Shine on Paper.
Be honest, when was the last time you read your own resume? Really looked at it carefully, from an outsider’s perspective? Sure it passes spell check, and you added a couple of bullets from your latest job, but when was the last time you refreshed the layout – the content – the message?
If you’re like most people, the answer is hazy. Most people actively dislike presenting themselves as a one-dimensional person on a piece of paper. It’s unnatural, it can be unnerving, it can bring up emotions – in short, it’s no fun.
The resume is a critical storytelling tool – use it to help take charge of your life and your job search. Many of us get so tied up in sending (and resending) it; we fail to think about the picture it paints of ourselves and how accurate or attractive that picture might be. With job searching, not enough emphasis can be placed on the fact that you, in part, control your destiny. If you put forth a poorly executed resume, expect a poorly executed hiring experience. Be the best that you can be – and expect the best in return.
Do yourself a favor and set aside a couple of hours devoted entirely to a resume refresh. Put it in your calendar right now or you will procrastinate until the New England Patriots are once again in the Super Bowl. And let’s face it, Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger!
If you don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips and tools to get you started.
Send it to us!
The Masiello Employment recruiting team would be happy to review your resume, make suggestions, and highlight areas of improvements. As recruiters, we spend a huge portion of our time with our eyes on resumes, so our perspective and input as industry professionals can go a long way.
Use an Online Resume Service.
There are lots of interesting ‘free’ resume review services out there though none are usually as free as they claim to be (so do be careful). One that we like is LiveCareer. The site automatically reviews your resume and gets back to you with any number of suggestions from spelling errors to tense and tone. The interface allows you to change your resume format (look and feel) with a single click. It is a means to get fast and dirty improvement ideas and to think outside the norm. And while not entirely free (It costs $1.95 to download your newly formatted resume) it is a great catalyst for starting the process. Plus, you can easily take the free suggestions and incorporate them into your resume on your own time and dime.
Another option if you like to get right to the chase is RezScore – while we don’t put a lot of weight on a letter grade, it does paint a picture of your message by displaying common keywords and a fascinating psychological profiling tool based solely on your resume information. If nothing else, it provides another perspective than your own and makes you think about the overall message your resume is sending. And don’t fall into an emotional trap by using it to judge yourself – it is merely judging words on paper.
Email a copy of your resume to 3-5 friends or peers (hopefully managers) and ask for their honest, constructive feedback. From here, only listen – don’t argue your case, and don’t take any criticism to heart. Learn from their suggestions, adjust if necessary remembering that you do not need to act on them if you don’t agree, then thank them for their time. Their feedback relates to how they perceive your presence on paper; it isn’t personal.
The internet, particularly Linkedin, is overflowing with resume writing tips – take some time to read a few and absorb some of the current ideas regarding the role of the modern resume and how to keep things in perspective when writing it. As you can see from these author’s perspectives, it’s a complicated matter, but the more you learn, the better your chances of getting your resume onto the short list.
Just Do It!
Now go forth and refresh that tired old resume! Be sure to stay in touch with our recruiters by sending us a copy whenever you improve it, and keep yourself focused on your next (dream) job!