Does Your Resume Bore Even You?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

How’s your resume? Have you read it, really read, it in the past month? If not, open it up and dust it off. A resume is a living document and should be reevaluated regularly. And if you're not getting the responses you expect from it this is definitely the time to examine the content.

Read it carefully and think about what you’ve learned in your job search since you created it, asking yourself these questions:

Are there key words that you’ve noticed in job descriptions that need to be worked in? Perhaps a job duty you’ve touched in an internship that’s similar to those listed? Try lining up your resume side-by-side with a job description for a position you want and think you’re qualified for, and make sure there’s something obvious on your resume to align with each of the important requirements.

Are you marketing yourself with a definite purpose or are you just throwing yourself out there hoping someone will read your resume and figure out where to put you? This can be disastrous. Having a strong summary of your qualifications as they apply to your industry or, even better, a specific opening is much better than just a random collection of skills.

Did you have an internship with a company in a comparable industry, market or even with a competitor to your target organization? Highlight any commonality with the company you’re pursuing and let them know that you have some previous experience.

How’s your sentence construction? Does it make you sleepy? Find a good “action verb” list and jazz up some sentences. Employers like to see strong, definitive language. So enhance your experience: “Responsible for successfully organizing fraternity fundraiser, securing sizeable corporate contributions and resolving budget shortfall.”  Sounds a billion times better than “Ran Lambda Chi’s fundraiser.”

Send it to your mentor or someone in your network who has been involved in hiring and ask them to take a hard look and make recommendations.  If possible send to more than one person and see if the same concerns are raised.

If the job descriptions you’re seeing don’t have a few things in common with the bulk of your resume that probably means you need to revamp it.  Different jobs will have different requirements or experience preferences so don't hesitate to tailor it for each presentation or opening. BUT, also ask yourself if you applying to jobs that you aren't qualified for. If the company says four years experience they really mean four years.

Remember, the resume never gets you the job, it only gets you the interview. But it represents you when you aren't there, so make sure it’s doing a bang-up job.



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Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. That’s a nice tip, and I would wish you give a similar tip for a good resume structure.

  2. You can find a couple of our blog posts on resume content on this site. Content is king on a resume so highlight your skills and talents in a way that solves the problems of the employer. It’s not what you want-it’s how you’ll help them!

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