Disclaimer: I am not a professional resume writer | not in recruitment/talent acquisition
I am a job seeker.
I am an immigrant who struggled months to get a job.
I enjoy working on my resume. It is always updated (never know when an opportunity comes knocking)
I am from a tech background and my resume writing has only been in that space.
I believe starting to compose a resume looks something like this:
- I need or plan to look for a new opportunity
- Oh!! I need a resume
- Google search for a template
- Search linkedin for profiles
- Search job portals for job descriptions
- Or maybe ask a friend for a resume and modify it
- Get frustrated
Challenges in writing a resume:
1. Finding a template
2. Keeping it succinct and precise
Solution to the aforementioned challenges:
1. Google search (obviously). | Microsoft has some good templates that you can customize (sometimes it is cumbersome). | Job sites | Recruitment agency sites (however they seem to have simplified it too much and I have not personally found them very appealing)
2. Keep it to no more than 3 pages. All your experience and job responsibilities over the years do not need to be added. Stick to relevant and recent job roles and their descriptions. Spend time on your first page summarizing your experience, skills and importantly value add.
3. Articulating your experience is the key and the most challenging part:
a. There are some sites that can help with words :
b. Avoid: “Responsible for””
c. If you are repeating words, try and look for their synonyms. E.g.: Instead of implemented you can use the synonyms: Achieved, Effectuated, Discharged
d. (I might get flak for this) Job descriptions are a great source to articulate experience and skills in a professional way.
e. Modify your resume according to the job descriptions and use keywords or paraphrases from it to compose your experience or summary.
f. Highlight your skills.
g. Keep the summary/role/responsibility to shorter sentences.
In my opinion summarizing your career in a value add proposition for the role in question makes it stand out. The first page should have the summary (your value proposition) and the key skills you bring to the table.
To keep the summary succinct and attention grabbing:
- Create a boundary : half a page, 10 pointers, 5 categories (basis the format)
- Create a brain dump of all the awesome work you have done over the years
- Check for patterns in the brain dump
- Pick your proud moments and align them to the role/opportunity/job
- Word the work you have done from the value that it delivered.eg: instead of : I developed a piece of code in java, try writing what business value or problem did it solve
- Think about the work you did from a problem-solution pair.
- Try categorizing your experience : Leadership, Design, Process, Technical uplift, Operations, Communication, Stakeholder engagement
Some Categories that are commonly used or can be used:
Summary | Tech Skills | Certifications | Academia | Contact | Articles Published | linkedin profile | Domain Experience | Talks Delivered | Core Strengths | Contribution | Accomplishment | Achievement | Objective | Experience | Initiatives | Use Certification logos in the header
I have attached 3 resumes as templates for reference. (customised word templates, husband likes simpler stuff, and a friend contributed)