Writing a resume is hard work and can make getting your degree seem like child's play in comparison. Obviously, you want to make yourself of interest to recruitment agencies and prospective employers, but at the same time you don't want to be boring and risk underselling yourself. So, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd, without sounding arrogant and opinionated?
It's certainly a tough task, but you can make a good start on putting together a great resume simply by following these tips.
Preparing to write your résumé
Take a note pad and a pen, and sit down somewhere quiet where you won't be interrupted; turn off your phone and get started.
- Begin by listing all the jobs and roles you have had since you wrote your last résumé. Go through the list and highlight those that relate specifically to the job you are applying for. Put them in date order. At this stage you're just gathering useful information, so delete every job that has no relevance to the role for which you're intending to apply.
- Now, go through the jobs you've highlighted that are pertinent to your current job application. Write down every task, duty and project you worked on whilst in those roles. Some might not be at all relevant to the position you're applying for and can therefore be deleted, but on the flipside you might come across things you'd forgotten all about that are totally applicable and relevant.
- Search out all your previous performance reviews and go through them carefully, noting down all the strengths that were highlighted by your former bosses. There will be some you've forgotten all about, which you could now use to your advantage.
- Make an exhaustive list of all your technical skills, past and present, including certificates and licenses. Some or all of these skills might apply to your new role so make a note of everything you can think of for inclusion in your personal profile on your résumé.
- Finally, focus on your current or most recent two roles, read over your notes and use your findings to draw up a few bullet points detailing all your accomplishments, significant contributions or projects that you were part of. Bullet points help to focus the attention of the reader who might otherwise just skim read paragraphs of text without taking in the most important details that could land you that all-important interview.
Now you're equipped with all the information you need to make a good start on your resume. If you're still at college or university, use any societies, clubs, voluntary or part-time positions you've held and go through the process detailed above – it works just the same way.