Resume writing tips

3 Simple Tricks to DIY Your Unique Resume Template

Interior design and resume writing have a lot more in common than you think.

Aesthetics matter. They matter to me in my home, in what I wear and even in resume design. After all, I view all of these things as extensions of ME. I want my home and my clothes to express WHO I am. Same goes for my (and anyone else's) resume for that matter.

When I start a resume for a client, I need to know the format and color first. I like to have the blueprint of the document and then pull in all the furniture and then select show-stopping accessories.

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No matter if you design first or last, how you showcase your professional achievements matters. Remember, a resume isn't a professional activity list, it is a marketing document - marketing YOU! So, ditch the generic, ready-made template and create your own.

Easy Microsoft Word tricks to DIY your own template:

Font. Express who you are, but also use a universal font that every operating system can read. Feel constrained by universal fonts - use two! One for the main text of the document and the other for headings. Ensure font is appealing and readable both on screen and on paper.

Borders + Shading. Draw the eye by employing these two functions to highlight job titles, key skills, headings, and even your name.

White Space. This one is easy but often overlooked. Write succinctly and leave room for your text and format of the document to breathe.

There are a lot of different ways to start a resume, what do you do first?

One 20-minute Exercise can impact your Career Advancement

We are obsessed with our 'to-dos' instead of 'done-well.' Have you recently taken the time to catalog your career wins?

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Each quarter set aside 20-minutes to document your professional successes. If you find yourself staring at a blank page or blinking cursor use the following prompts to jog your memory:

➤ What CHALLENGES did you face this quarter?

➤ What ACTIONS did you take in response to those challenges?

➤ What were your RESULTS?

Then, go back and quantify within the prompts as much as you can (i.e. revenue dollars, number of staff on your team, the volume produced, etc.).

💥 Boom💥 You just created bullet points to keep your resume fresh and up to date!

What is your go-to method for remembering your professional wins?

One Childhood Lesson that informs a High-Performing Resume

Show don't tell.

We all know this well. Travel back in time to your kindergarten classroom to revisit the lego creation or favorite stuffed animal you brought in to share with your class. Seriously, do you remember?

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Now, use your muscle memory to replace your display of childhood trinkets with quantifiable results on your resume.

So, ditch vague TELL descriptors like:

❌ Revenue-driven

❌ Hard worker

❌ Results-oriented

Instead, SHOW quantifiable metrics. Share NUMBERS like:

💡Dollar Amounts - Money saved or earned.

💡Time - Speed of service or deadlines met.

💡Percentages - Increases in market share or efficiency.

For those who, like me, aren't math whizzes, use the percentage calculator [percentagecalculator.net] as an online helper.

A New Study Reveals the #1 Reason People Lie on their Resume

The number one reason people lie on their resume?

GoBankingRates recently asked over a thousand people about the truthfulness of their resume. 5% of those surveyed admitted to lying (which you can guess is never a good idea), but the interesting part is the WHO and WHY.

WHO❓Women more than men (41% versus 18%) lied on their resume.

WHY❓ Cover employment gaps.

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While the findings may be surprising to some, the stat makes sense. More women take breaks to raise children and assist an aging parent (etc.) while also facing the REAL negative stigma of employment gaps in the hiring process. According to a recent ResumeGo study, candidates with gaps in work history were 45% less likely to be invited for an interview.

But there is HOPE!

In that same ResumeGo study, however, those who provided a REASON for their work gap on their resume and cover letter received 60% more interviews.

So instead of leaving your gap to the imagination or dismissing your integrity upon clicking the apply button, explain the gap!

One Easy Way to Market Yourself in your Resume

Make a marketing move on your resume with a headline.

This is one simple fix helps shift your resume from a professional list of experiences to a marketing document. A headline is located under your contact information and above your branding statement.

Don't complicate it. The headline is the job you are applying for. It’s the billboard that shouts the purpose of your resume.

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You are not only branding yourself as said position but listing the job title up top in your document is advantageous for ATS.

⚡️BONUS MOVE: Add the most important keywords found in the job ad underneath your headline that is also synonymous with your skillset.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Headline >> Product Manager

Keywords >> Cloud-Based Product Development | Project Management | Information Technology

Three Tips to Uncover Your Value through Resume Writing

Resume writing is a strenuous process. But like all hard things, the work is worth it.

I recently was chatting with a client who purchased my resume branding workbook. She had a seemingly unconnected work history with leaps and jumps. She had a hard time connecting the dots so she knew employers would too.

She was trying to establish credibility in a new field and was thinking of pursuing a graduate degree. Once she identified themes and the connective tissue of her work life in the resume writing process- her value popped before her eyes. Graduate work didn't seem so important anymore.

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Do you know you know your value? Can you communicate what you uniquely bring to the table? If you are in the same struggle:

▶︎ Identify your strengths. Reflect on what skills you like using. What do others acknowledge in you? What are you consistently asked to do?

▶︎ Look for themes in your professional history. Layout your past and see what themes emerge. Do you typically volunteer to manage projects? Have you always enjoyed leading teams? Are you first to see the solution to a problem?

▶︎ Compare yourself to typical applicants. In other words, identify your unique value proposition. What experience, skill, credential or accomplishment makes you different from others that will typically apply. Once you identify it, own it!

We have the perfect guide to unlock your value. Find it here.

Personal Hobbies: Resume Worthy or Not?

Should you share personal hobbies on your resume?

The National Resume Writers Association Ask the Expert contributors tackle this very question today on the blog.

Want the cliff notes version?

Always write your resume with your career goal and target audience in mind. If your personal activities showcase why you are uniquely qualified for the job, work it in. If not, don't!

🚨CAUTIONARY NOTE: Be careful to include activities that invite unconscious bias. Check out Lisa Rangel's answer for this smart tip.

Take a look - it's a worthwhile read!

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3 Things to Consider Before You Hire a Resume Writer

You loathe updating your resume. You want career fulfillment, but does this task alone slow you down? If so, hire a resume writer.

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I honestly didn't know this was a thing until a few years ago. Maybe you didn't either. Think you would benefit from resume writing services? First:

📍Have a clear career goal. Targeted resumes perform better. A "general resume" will do you no favors so if you are struggling to nail down your focus hire a career coach first!

📍Get in the marketing mindset. Every detail about your life and work history may not be relevant to your career target. These details are important to who you are, but they are not necessarily important for this resume or for this job target. The goal is for your resume to tell a curated story about who you are and what you can do.

📍Do your research. Find a resume writer that is right for you. Ask friends for a referral or use professional association listings within The National Resume Writers Association or the Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaches to start the process. Above all, trust and connect with your writer. The resume writer/client relationship is and should be a collaborative one.

Ready to start the resume writing process? Let’s collaborate!

My Career Journey: Ready Pause Go Podcast

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I'm having a bit of a vulnerability hangover 😂 BUT today, I fulfill a bucket list item, by being a podcast guest. Check out episode 24 on the Ready Pause Go Podcast.

I spill all about my career journey and motherhood, in addition, to resume and LinkedIn tips if you are blowing the digital dust off your resume during your career pause.