the evolution of a resume.

if there’s one thing that job-hopping over a period of years affords, it’s a highly evolved resume.

when i created my first post-graduation resume, nearly 8 years ago, i had the great help of friend and communications major.  i was a fairly unorganized college graduate, choosing to pursue a more bohemian existence, whereas she was completely opposite.  she prepped her resume our senior year and took it out, securing a job before we even graduated.

her biggest tips stay with me to this day and have greatly helped in my process.  first and foremost, it’s important to focus on the wording that’s used, which includes nearly all of the following–strived, maintained, created, served, communicated.  and so many more of those qualities that employers want to see, that show how you have been a self-initiator, how you’ve grown in your position, and what you intend to do in the future.  every employer wants an employ that seems easy to manage.

clearness and conciseness go a log way in communicating that message, which is where i feel thankful that English-major brain goes into overdrive.  “articulate” is definitely a gift plays out well in a resume.

highlighting the most important positions/experiences first is key.  you want the first thing a potential employer sees to be that job that gave you the experience for the one you want.  this led to an interesting discovery on my part: resumes don’t need to be in chronological order.  now, don’t get me wrong, they need to be relevant.  it doesn’t help to be applying for a customer service job and include your summer high school job as a Denny’s waittress from 10 years ago as an example.  but including a significant position in your career development that may have taken place prior to your current (or even former) job as a primary example on your resume is more than fine.  just be prepared to explain why you’re not there any more if it was such a pivotal position for you.

and last, but certainly NOT last, is to be honest.  it’s important to explain your positions and responsibilities in professional resume jargon, but never embellish on what you’re really capable of.  you may initially get the position you want, but this can lead to a lot of disappointment and heartache on both sides of the fence down the road.

these tips come back to me as i edit and modify for a promotion i’m interested in.  it feels strange to review my jobs of past, and be reminded of the impact they had on me, to see how they directly contributed to the skills i’m able to offer today.  editing a resume is a bit like a trip down memory lane, some good and some…not so good.  which leads to the last, and final, tip.  celebrate when you finally find you have enough experience to delete that one position you were just using as filler and happily move into the future.

 

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