We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference. Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.
In the last decade, I’ve interviewed over 1000 people. And I’ve discovered a few things that really make the right people stand out. Your job search takes time, but if you organize your methods–you significantly increase your chances to get the job you want and set yourself up for success with your new position.
Your Resume is usually the first impression an employer has of you. And with the volume of applications today and many professionals asked to do more with less; an employer is looking for a way to immediately weed out applicants. So your Resume needs to be concise, comprehensive and correct. That employer will probably only look at your Resume for 5 seconds, so also make it eye-catching.
Set up time to review your Resume annually. If you haven’t already, you need to create a MEGA resume (this will take more than 15 minutes to set up, it includes everything you’ve ever done–you then adjust relevant material based on the position you’re applying for) I’d recommend setting a regular time each month–15 minutes–to update your resume. Set up a list/file to make it easier to keep everything organized. Save emails, notes, accomplishments and award information to this file. Then, when your scheduled resume update time, you’ll know exactly what to add.
Include the right content in your Resume. Your resume should include basic information in a standard format. You can find many templates online, but here are the basics to consider. A great place to get more ideas is through my LinkedIn Profile or looking at others in LinkedIn (you will have to set up an account, but it’s free).
- Objective/Summary Statement: If you choose to include a summary statement, it should be 2-3 sentences that really say “I am awesome. Here’s what I want to do. Here’s how I plan to do it.” You should use action words and specific statements. It’s OK to fancy up your words using a thesaurus, but make sure what you select reflects who you are.
- Professional Experience: List company name, location, your job title(s), and your tenure. Keep the same format for all job listings. List at least three bullet points below each job that say, “Here is what I did and here is why it mattered.”
- Instead of: Hired, trained and supervised employees, Consider: Recruited, hired and supervised a top-talent team collectively of 308+ employees and consistently reached all hiring goals ahead of district/company deadlines maintaining staff to district/company standards.
- Instead of: Promoted to full-time position, Consider: Promoted because of ability to consistently achieve top-line sales results, positive attitude toward company initiatives, demonstrated understanding of company programs, and associate development results.
- Education: If you’re still in college or graduate school, it’s OK to list your education first–because this may be your most relevant experience. However, as you grow your professional career, your education will continue to move down in the order on your resume. List name of institution, location, your degree(s) and your tenure.
- Skills: Many positions require specific technical skills. List these, as appropriate. This isn’t really a place to list “people skills” like good communicator or team manager. The people skills should be revealed through your experience categories instead.
- Awards/Honors: You are awesome and others have recognized you for this. List it here. It’s fine just to list the award name and when you received it, but some awards may need slightly more description–add them if it will help.
- Activities/Volunteer Experience: For activities/volunteer experience, I’d also recommend following the Professional Experience tips. These are important and your involvement made a difference; be confident in showing it.
Proofread! Actually, have your writer/editor expert friend proofread and use available computer tools to check your work. Triple check your contact information, you’d be surprised how often this is incorrect. Spelling and grammar errors are a quick and easy way to be eliminated from the job search pool, don’t let this happen to you.