Given the nature of our economy and the upcoming economic stimulus package (from all accounts will be signed by President Obama this Monday), perhaps it’s time we all stimulate our resume? With that said, how can we, on a micro scale, increase the chances of our resume being noticed, leading up to an interview and job offer?
No doubt about it, the world has changed in the past six months. Have you revisited your resume and cover letter format? According to the Professional Resume Writers Association, we should update/revise our career portfolio every six months. Truth be known, I did update my resume last month but before that, it had been years…and this coming from a professional resume writer and career coach! So, what does one do during a revisit?
I recommend keeping a weekly business journal to detail classes, seminars, performances, etc. throughout a designated time period and review your accomplishments for possible inclusion. For example, if you are employed and received special recognition for refining (or creating) a process change which resulted in saving money or labor hours, detail specifics in your journal.
A successful way to organize and prioritize what you do is to use the STAR format:
Situation: what’s going on in the company or in your classes, what issues are causing problems?
Task: what contingencies are you facing, what is your plan on attacking the problems?
Action: what are you implementing to resolve the problems?
Result: using metrics when possible, what are the results?
Evaluate on-the-job performance or university courses often and incorporate relevant, quantifiable, and recent contributions. Remember: it’s all about what YOU can do for the company, not what the company can do for you. If you are not employed, concentrate on incorporating professional development classes and what you have done recently to add value, personally and professionally. What employers do not want are candidates (or employees) satisfied with complacency…never stop growing, never stop learning, and never stop stimulating your resume and cover letter.
In a lean employment cycle, quantifiable value and immediate return is paramount to keeping your job and/or landing a new one. If you are a college or university student, your career services department is a career marketing tool dedicated to helping you, take advantage of their expertise!
If you have specific questions or unsure about including information in your career management material, send your concerns my way and I will be glad to give you an objective and honest answer.
Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP
Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com
Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com