We need to talk. It's not working out. Sorry, it's not me, it's you. Actually...it's your resume. It's too long. It's boring. You can't cram everything in there and you don't need to. You need to rethink it. There are so many other better resumes out there that I think we need to just be friends.
Yep, let's talk about resumes again. Last week I rounded up five articles that dug into the challenge of building a killer resume. I had hoped to move on, but there is so much to say about resumes and resume strategy. It's hard work and it takes time. Once you have crafted the perfect document, it's probably time to think about updating it. Argh! But there is hope.
It's truly remarkable how a simple piece of paper or PDF is so critical to your job search and yet you'll only get about 5 to 10 seconds before whoever is reading it makes a decision. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Think that over again and look at your resume. 5 to 10 seconds! If you don't make an impression in that short window of time it could be game over.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me their resume in hopes that I would share with other contacts. This is someone with some great experience and big accomplishments, but their resume completely undersold them. It was three pages long, read like a job description and presented a picture of someone who wasn't exactly sure what they really wanted to do.
I quickly responded with a few notes and they made some surgical cuts and changes. The next draft was much better, more concise and painted a much clearer picture of their career. After a few more tweaks it was pretty solid and smart.
Make sure you get feedback from friends, recruiters and HR experts. Not everything will work for you, but listen carefully, edit wisely and be prepared to repeat, repeat, repeat.
So let's get started. Here are 6 more great articles on the art of resume writing.
Best Resume Writing Tips for 2014
Top 15 Tips for Writing Resumes That Will Get Noticed
Let's start with the basics. Resumes evolve. What made sense 10 years ago or even 10 months ago may not matter today. About.com reached out to a host of resume writers and career experts to find out what works TODAY. The biggest takeaway from a list of smart takeaways was to focus on accomplishments. Don't tell us what you did, tell us what you achieved.
They also included links to Best Resumes 2014, Top 25 Job Search Tips for 2014, Top Cover Letter Tips for 2014, Best Career Advice for 2014 and so much more.
Straight Talk from a Recruiter: 2 easy techniques to increase your chances of being hired
Social Hire offers a recruiter's expert POV on writing your resume to reflect the specific job opening. Some might disagree and others would say it is just too much work, but catering your story every time to fit right into the opening is a great plan of attack. Plus, they show you the easy way to make simple tweaks to demonstrate how you are the perfect fit for the job.
Why Resume Templates Are Job Search Killers
You found the perfect template for your resume. All you need to do it fill in the blanks and you are good to go! Right? Wrong! Careerealism crushes the easier, softer path provided by templates and suggests you do the hard work now so can find real work later. However, they offer some smart steps to help you and your accomplishments stand out.
5 How-Tos: Write a Better Resume and Cover Letter
You've got big questions, The Hired Guns has big answers. They understand how difficult it is to update your resume. They feel your pain. They tackle writing a great resume, the one-page-versus-two-page debate and deadly resume errors. Plus, they still have time left over to talk cover letters.
Resume Tip Tuesday: 7 Resume Design Tips from Lynda.com
So maybe you've conquered the challenge of writing the perfect resume, but what about design? You can tell a great story, but now you need beautiful packaging. Career Bliss reached out to an award-winning resume designer and got 7 easy and effective design tips that will have you looking your best. Remember, simplicity is key!
One resume to rule them all
Let's finish this with a powerful and unbelievably simple tip. This might be the best piece of advice I read all week or even all year. The Ladders asks the question,
"If I ripped off the top third of your resume and handed it to a complete stranger ....would they be able to tell me what you wanted to do with the rest of your life?"
If your answer is no, I suggest you take a peek at the whole article.
So maybe there is hope for your resume. And mine too. What's your resume strategy? Please share your best tips and tricks in comments. Until next week, good luck on the job search!