I’m sorry you weren’t able to attend the webinar today. We talked about (re)designing your resume. I wanted to share some highlights from the webinar.
First, we talked about a General Resume. This is self-explanatory in that it’s somewhat a generic representation of all your skills/experiences. This is your foundation for all other resumes.
A Couple of Must-Haves: 1) Current telephone number and 2) a professional email address.
Make sure you provide your current cell phone not your work number is listed. I’d avoid using your home number if you have voicemail that isn’t professional, such as you, your partner, kids and or animals in the greeting. Avoid animal noises, kids crying and music on your message. You want potential employers to leave a message not discard your resume because they are asked to leave a message by the voice of your precious toddler while the dog is barking.
A professional email is another key to communicating with you. While it’s cute to have ImIzzysMama@email.com as my email address, I should use that with my child’s teacher, my friends and my parents. The email on your resume needs to be neutral so create a separate one (Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook…) and choose one with your name (it’s easiest) such as email@example.com. Add in numbers (not ‘666’) or include your middle name. This suggestion may seem basic, but resumes come across my desk all the time with a work email or a ‘cute’ email address. If you plan on keeping your military email address, then use it but if you want to move away from that completely get a new email for your job search.
A Should-Have: List your (correct) LinkedIn (LI) Profile address.
Put the complete web address to your LinkedIn Profile near your name & address. Before you add this to your resume and send it out look on your LI Profile and make sure you have the same information (dates/job titles) as your resume. Don’t send out a resume that has you listed as President at XYZ Company from January 2011-February 2013 but your LI Profile says Operations Manager at XYZ Company from March 2011-February 2013. True-up the date ranges and your titles on both. You don’t need to have the same description or accomplishments on the LI Profile but the basic details need to be the same. Know that if you include your LI Profile link that means you are openly sharing all the information on your Profile (including your Recent Activity and Connections) to potential employers. Make sure what you have one there is professional and wouldn’t be mistaken as akin to your Facebook page.
Several Never-Haves: 1) Disability status; 2) Marital status; or 3) Salaries.
Any disability status or rating you have is PRIVATE. This may be something asked on a Federal Job listing for Hiring Preference but it’s not something you should list on a resume for a civilian position. Your marital status, religion, ethnicity are also private details that aren’t appropriate for a resume (or a cover letter or an interview) so don’t include them. Finally, even when a position asks for salary history I’d keep this detail for the cover letter. Including salaries on a resume detracts from the details of your accomplishments. Also, you don’t want to include specific salary information on the resume so you stay open for negotiation and similarly you don’t want to price yourself out of an opportunity.
Second, we reviewed the steps to writing a job-specific resume. Since 98% of the positions you will apply to are online, the best way I’ve found to get an effective job-specific resume is to use a Word Cloud Generator. There are many Generators out there. The one I’ve found the easiest to use is TagCrowd. Here’s the process:
Step ONE: Open TagCrowd
Step TWO: Cut & Paste the Job Description, Skills and Qualifications sections into the ‘Paste Text’ Box
Step THREE: Select the “VISUALIZE!” button
Step FOUR: Print &/or save the Word Cloud TagCrowd – Marketing Mgr Job Description
Step FIVE: Highlight all instances of the LARGE key words (from the Word Cloud) on your General Resume
Step SIX: Update your Resume to reflect the LARGE key words and the frequency = Job-Specific Resume
Step SEVEN: The key words in the Word Cloud will also help you tailor a Cover Letter.
A Job-Specific Resume, with a focus on the key words used in the job description and qualifications/skills, will help you whether the organization is using an Applicant Tracking System (online submissions) or if an actual person is vetting submissions.
There are numerous Word Cloud Generators. I’m not advocating TagCrowd over others. TagCrowd is a free resource, it gives instantaneous results which can be printed & saved and it’s extremely user friendly and functional. By all means check out other Word Cloud Generators but I wouldn’t pay to use one.
When you sit down and do this for the first time, if you have questions send me an email or call/text me and I’ll be glad to walk you through it. You will find it’s relatively easy. There is no doubt it takes more time to design a job-specific resume but it will help highlight your skills and experience to the hiring managers and should increase the likelihood you will be contacted for an interview. Unfortunately there is no magic wand to create the ‘perfect’ resume for the job you want but following these tips & you should get you noticed for the right reasons, your skills.