Work It, Baby: Get Your Experience Right
"Work It, Baby: Get Your Experience Right
At the heart of any resume lies a person's work history. After all, you're more likely to get a job based on the skills and experiences you picked up in the real world than you are for your glamorous hobbies or even your sterling education. So how do you go about condensing your many years of desk jockeying onto a single page? If you're like most people, you'll want to list your employers, job titles, dates of employment, and a few other relevant pieces of information. Here are some tips.
The dates of employment you give should be listed by year only. In most cases, you should not include months. Not only are months no longer expected in resumes, they're can be a disadvantage. By using years as your only record of time, it's possible to erase embarrassing unemployment blemishes while representing your experience in the largest possible time frame. Instead of a truncated work period, such as "November 1998-February 1999: Senior Designer," you get the much smoother and more impressive "1998-1999: Senior Designer."
Each work-history paragraph should be titled with the either the functional title or the official title of your job, making sure that you choose the one that will be the most impressive to the employer. In most cases, that would be your functional title. Achievements
After your job title, list your achievements: your responsibilities, the contribution you made to the company's success, the skills you learned, and the distinctions you earned. Remember that the point is to play yourself up as a candidate that will fit into the company's future. Don't let your resume read like the chronicle of a once-promising worker.
The main question every statement in your Work History should be answering is, "How did my skill positively affect my company?"
Promotions are the greatest forms of recognition an employee can receive. It's proof that you were so good at your job that your employer decided to increase your level of responsibility (and give you more money!). When you list promotions on your resume you need to do it in a way that shows off this accomplishment. One way of doing this is to list the company name first, followed by job titles in separate paragraphs to play up the promotions and the individuality of each position. If you're restricted by space, you can include this information within the body of your job description.
On a similar note, job awards, no matter how paltry they may have seemed at the time, are an excellent way of distinguishing yourself from the drones. Be sure not only to list the name and date of the award, but to indicate of what the award was for. Many times, awards come with official descriptions you can quote, but if you can't recall the boilerplate (or it's too wordy), just describe the award as concisely and authoritatively as you can.
The more specificity you use in your resume the better. If you've dealt with other companies as part of your duties, name those companies. Company names give the reader a much clearer idea of the type and scale of work you did -- and you never know when you might share a connection with a prospective employer. If you've dealt with specific regions, name the locations exactly: the more chances you give the reader to find a connection to you, the better. Name whatever technical equipment you've used as well, as long as they're relevant to the position you're after. When possible, figures and facts are a great way to grab the attention of the reader, because numbers offer concrete statements about your productivity.
This is also a good time for you to use your insider terminology, the hidden vault of words and references that only industry insiders comprehend. Using this exclusive vocabulary is an excellent way to signal to your readers that you are an experienced professional with intimate business knowledge. This also helps makes your resume ring authentic, written by you, the experienced professional who is the product of all of the diverse experiences you list in your resume. But if you're not positive that you understand what you're talking about -- leave the lingo alone.
Fruit of the labor
Whether products or publications, events or agreements, naming whatever it was that you assisted in producing or accomplishing is an excellent way to qualify your statements of success. You should be able to point to something and say, "I did this," thus answering the unspoken question of every employer, "Can you produce?""
<Note from JobFairy.com: Excellent advice. If you follow the template exactly, though, you won't have the opportunity to make serious mistakes.>