Resume Tips: How to Best Advance your Career on Paper

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No matter what field you are working in, the first key in unlocking that dream job all comes down to how you brand and market yourself on your resume. For many people, this process becomes quite meticulous and downright frustrating. But fear not! Below, you will find some of the best resume tips that can help convey your professional experience, skills, and goals for your future job.

Let’s start off by understand the overall purpose of a resume. For hiring managers, they cannot afford to waste their precious time trying to figure out your work skills and your overall career goals. This is where your resume comes in hand. Your resume, or curriculum vitae, provides a holistic summary of your skills, abilities, and overall accomplishments. Think of this as a snapshot of your professional life. It’s intent is to capture and emphasize interesting events that can help you secure that much needed interview.

Now, let’s get into the good part! When a future employer reviews a candidate, they want access to their professional skills, achievements, and future goals. Many people try to provide a quick blurb of this through an Objective section in their resume. While it is important for your resume to include a clear career goal, you do not have to convey this with this section. Instead, many hiring managers can look for this through a Personal Statement and match it up with your Work Experience section. For most jobs, an optional personal statement section will be added for your application. While it is not required, make sure you are able to write a strong subjective essay that highlights your work experiences and intended interest for the job and the company. To learn more about how to write a personal statement, you can check out this website here.

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When writing your Work Experience section, begin by having an overall theme to for your resume. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes many people overlook. Your work experience is something that can go on for days. Rather than listing out each and every job you did since high school, try highlighting specific jobs that are tailored specifically for your future employers. For example, if you are looking into the field of education, make sure you provide roles that showcase your skillset and knowledge with teaching and leadership. If you are looking for something more into the banking or finance sector, try pinpointing experiences that highlight your fundamental knowledge such as internships or shadowing positions. Be cognizant of what you put on your resume. This can be the make or break point for your future career.

For the actual job description, you want to make sure you are descriptive and meaningful in highlighting your skills. To do this, think of a list of adjectives that represent you professionally (for example: leadership). Use those descriptors as guides in how you frame what you have done for that position. In addition, be sure to highlight any achievements. One mistake many applicants do is that, for these achievements and descriptions, they oftentimes use broad and vague language. When a hiring manager is looking at your resume, they do not want to see that you ‘brought in a lot of money’ in to your firm. Instead, they want to see numbers. In your resume, be sure to quantify your job description as much as possible. If you brought in $4 million dollars into the company, make sure you say that! This will give your future employer a better idea of both your work ethics and goals for their company.

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Moving beyond the Work Experience, make sure you highlight both your Educational Background and additional Extracurricular Activities. Similar to your work experience, try and quantify each section as much as possible. In addition, be very aware of how you can translate those positions (for the extracurricular activities section) as an asset for your work ethics. Go back to those adjectives. Think about your resume’s them and how you want to be perceived. Many hiring managers love to see leaders and overachievers that go above their job description. Show them this through these two sections.

Last but not least, try and humanize your resume by adding a short and brief personal interest section. Try and stick to one line. This can be something like: “Outdoor Enthusiast – Avid fly-fisherman, endurance cyclist, sea-kayaker, nature photographer, lover of all charitable 5K runs.” These quick descriptions give your hiring managers a better idea of your own interest and whether or not they relate to that of the company.