For a long, long time now, I’ve been fixing up resumes. My family, my friends, my acquaintances have asked me to help them create a clearer picture of who they are and what they can offer on paper.
I am a big believer of selling yourself on your resume. Why? Because sometimes it’s the only impression you’re going to make. After having to peruse resumes myself while hiring project managers and business analysts, I think I am an even bigger believer in making sure that your resume is “right and tight”. I did not go to school for this, I do not hold a PhD in resume writing. My qualifications are simple: I’ve talked to employers and recruiters about the topic and have gained an understanding of what they’re looking for. I have had to hire people and can tell you what I, personally, will look for and what will land your resume straight into the garbage can. And, I’ve been hired by some pretty awesome companies in the past who all have told me about the impact my resume had on them. I wanted to share a little of what I think about and go through as I’m helping someone create their realistic image on paper.
Would You Hire You?
Here’s the first question I like to ask my clients: would you hire you based on the piece of paper in front of you? Not knowing you personally, not knowing your struggles, your talents or your expertise. Simply going by what is written on these pages, would you hire you? Most times the answer is no. And it’s not because these people are not talented and worthy of employment. I think at times it’s hard for us to sell ourselves and to really understand our worth.
Remember that you probably do more in your job than the description provided by HR. Don’t be afraid to list those responsibilities. Employers want to see that you go above and beyond the call of duty. I think so many people forget this. They are so worried about making sure that the job description matches the title that they forget all of the great work that they do as part of that overall role.
Recruiters tell me that the one-page resume doesn’t really fly unless you are straight out of college. For a recruiter, the more information they have the better. Why? Well, they will rework your resume depending on what companies they’re sending your resume out to and so the more information they have, the better off they are when it comes to compiling job-specific resumes. Personally, my resume is 3 pages long. Yours doesn’t have to be but, it’s not a crime if it is.
Job Specific Resumes
I normally have 2 resumes. One that I’d send out specifically when I was looking for employment as a project manager and another that I like to call my “Jill of all Trades” that includes broader information on my other non-project management related experience. Don’t be afraid to tweak your resume to the job that you are looking to get hired into. I had my project management mentor take my resume and rework it to show me what she was looking for in a project manager. That revision has served me well because she was able to throw in keywords and bring focus to the skills and talents that a hiring manager would look for in that position.
The Overall Look
I could go on and on and on with regards to resumes but, I won’t (because I have laundry to fold). In today’s “right now” world, we sometimes forget the impact that a physical copy of a resume can have. And I don’t mean just print it out on the paper that’s been sitting in your printer for the last 6 months. The right resume can have a lasting impact. The paper type, the quality and the overall package says a lot about you and provides a hiring manager with a view into your attention to detail that can’t be found in the pages you’re delivering. My resume can be found in a professional folder (I select the color and type based on the company I’m delivering it to). The resume itself is printed on linen paper. When you open the folder you will find a personalized cover letter on the left and a resume on the right. Behind the cover letter, I also offer what I like to call my ace in the hole (you’ll find out about it when you hire me to revise yours). If I’m mailing or dropping off before the interview, that folder is then put into an equally sleek envelope that is, most often, hand delivered. Now, that is not to say that I don’t email resumes. I do. But whenever I can, I make sure I can deliver the package. If not before the interview, then definitely at the interview. I get a first hand look at someone’s face when I slide over the folder, sleek and smooth in front of them. And even though most will have a copy of my resume already printed out, something shifts immediately when that folder is opened up and I know that if I want it, the job is mine.
Do you need help with your resume? Check out Mami Ink Media and let me know how I can help you get the job of your dreams.