Kris McGuigan, Found & CEO of Professional Courage, was our speaker at Monday’s meeting.
Kris mentioned several individuals would give you their opinion about your resume, but it’s important to seek someone who is credentialed and someone you trust. Then stick with that person’s opinion, or else you will be utterly confused and frustrated during your job search.
Career Assessment Path
Kris said that job seekers need to approach their process via the A-B-C method listed below.
ASSESS: Identify the internal and external factors that will drive your search. This MUST come first. You need to know the type of companies you wish to work for, positions you desire, and travel considerations. It is instrumental in writing your resume.
BRAND: Now that you know what you want in a job, you need written tools to reach that target.
CONNECT: Connect to the people who can hire you or introduce you to the people who are hiring for the job you desire.
Ultimately, everything is related to your target.
Before getting into the checklist, it’s vital to have only ONE resume. Like LinkedIn, you can only be one person. You need to have one resume to show people and not try to be all things to all positions.
Kris’ Six Point Resume Checklist
- HEADER: The header should consist of the following:
YOUR NAME (Larger Font than the rest)
One Phone Number Email (no AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo)
City, State LinkedIn address
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Not Objective, because that is self-serving, instead:
Title of the Job You Want (Bold)
Followed by 12-15 Keywords, in one or two columns – you have to use the exact keywords in the job description and have those keywords throughout the resume. Kris said only the top 25% of resumes make it past Applicant Tracking Systems, so you really must focus on those keywords to get a human to see your resume!
Kris suggested you print 2-3 job descriptions for careers you are interested in pursuing. Take a highlighter to highlight all the keywords that describe the job and integrate them into your resume.
Then you follow with 3-4 sentences that highlight your specific, unique skills.
- ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Don’t use a table, a template, your photo, or any graphics. They will not get past the employer’s ATS. MS Word is best; PDFs are risky unless specified. Put your cover letter AFTER the resume. It would be best if you listed outcome-based achievements in bullet points by asking the following questions where one or more will apply:
- How much…(time, revenue, cost savings)?
- How many…(phone calls did you handle, people did you manage, etc.)?
- How long…(did it take to complete the project, daily, weekly, or monthly achievements)?
- How often…(did you do the task)?
By answering these questions, you will be able to formulate concrete resume bullets. Be sure to eliminate redundant or useless details.
She also noted that having a side hustle is a red flag, so even if you do, don’t mention it on your resume. Only show the last 10-15 years of job history and take the dates off your college graduation.
- VISUAL APPEAL: Use color for section headers.
- ERROR-FREE CONTENT: Run your resume through grammar software, have multiple people review it for errors, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is also error-free. Typos are one of the biggest turnoffs to recruiters.
- TELL YOUR STORY: If you have a gap in work history because of being a caregiver or due to COVID-19, you can put on your resume the reason you left in parathesis. For example, after the company name and city (downsized due to COVID-19) is perfectly acceptable as long as it wasn’t more than five years ago.
Kris said that resumes need to be clear, concise, and compelling. There is no one, two- or three-page rule any longer. However, the job seeker needs to understand that the longer the resume, the more opportunity the reader will stop reading it all the way through.
Hudson Job Search Coaches Help You with Writing a Resume
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