A good resume, they say, might open a few doors for you. But the opposite will cost you a lot more.
The rules of a well crafted professional persona are well known and often documented, more so in this uber connected world. While brevity, being factual and clear expression are key, the content itself is ultimately your most compelling hook.
More than Jobs
Yes, a resume is for employment, but the scope of this now extends to your profile on networks like LinkedIn or professional membership sites as well as the About Me section on your business website or Facebook Page. Not just visibility, the very valuable side effect of this is the connects you make and the business you can garner.
If you took a career break or your skill set is not recent, does your resume look like this?
Showcase what do best
If Skills rather than Experience are the highlight of your professional career, share them front and center. While certain jobs require specific skill sets, a vast majority of employers seek certain essential skills, so it makes sense to call them out.
Soft skills count
In customer facing jobs or team roles, interpersonal skills and communication abilities – be it written, spoken or making presentations – are essential. The same applies to managing deadlines and networking abilities – talk about them.
Dealing with experience gaps
If you used your time away from full time work productively, there will definitely be experience highlights that are worth sharing. Short term jobs, consulting gigs, volunteer work will all get you the necessary if unconventional mileage.
Your resume needs to showcase all that you have achieved.
Also Read 7 Way to Maximize Your Career Break
Not just what you did but how well
References are the ultimate endorsements. Volunteer assignments, in particular can be leveraged if your experience aligns with the kind of job you’re seeking and if you have testimonials, preferably written. But a phone or email reference works too.
Building the Skill Set. Now.
Past relevant experience counts, yes and a recent college degree or certification helps but they are not necessarily enough.
Don’t wait till the day you’re job hunting or opening that gourmet desserts business from home – maximise your time well before that.
Even if you’re not considering returning to work yet, ensure that you build up resume credentials that boost your professional standing. If it’s short-term jobs, pick the ones that match your interests or volunteer your time and services in organizations that can add to your experience column. If you want to work with a school PTO or a specific charity, opt for jobs with your skill type. Or work pro-bono with a company if you find that jobs are hard to come by.
Also Read 5 Ways to Learn New skills for Free
If you are at the start of a Career break, then take this time to plan to add on skills that can be acquired online while you juggle family responsibilities. A few years down the line, this will showcase how you wisely used your time.
A resume or profile is like a signature – a snapshot of who you are professionally. And equally important, it reflects what you do best and what you believe is relevant to the marketplace.
So don’t just write that resume, craft it. And put your best foot forward – it’s up to you to ensure that the shoe fits.