Curing Underemployment (or) Josh’s Six Step Plan to a Great Resume (part 4 of 6)

Yesterday, I wrote about the 3rd step in the Josh Can Help resume process, writing personal statements. Check it out!

Step 4: Put it all together (rough draft)

Writing Tools by this is your brain on lithium on flickr
Writing Tools by this is your brain on lithium on flickr

Now, we’re going to take those personal statements, skill lists, and positions, and start building the different resumes. Don’t worry too much about formatting right now, just build the information (baby steps).

Create a new document for each resume and paste the completed personal statement at the top. Next, give your skills list a heading and copy and paste each relevant skill from the major list. Don’t be too concerned about the length or how specific/general you’re being. Writing a resume is better as an iterative process (step by step, doing and correcting). What you want to concentrate on is relevancy to the position you’re going after. The more targeted your resume is, the better you’re going to look.

Now, list your positions from newest to oldest, grouped by company. Under each of the positions, paste the experience that is relevant (see a pattern with that word?). If you think it qualifies you, put it down. If you think it doesn’t really relate, leave it out. For now, do these as bullet points and you can convert it to a paragraph later.

By the end, you should have a “completed” resume: statement, skills, and experience. The quote marks around completed means that you aren’t actually complete but this is  the meat of the task. You still need to list relevant education, awards, certifications, and experience. These can be all together in one section or separated depending on what you’re going for.

  • Are you a medicinal chemist going for a senior scientist position? You’ll want a section for education (very important in the chemical industry) and another section for publications (also important).
  • Are you a furniture maker going for a lead construction position? You’ll want to include any awards, mentions, published work, and education, possibly in one general section.
  • Are you an experienced manager going for a VP position? List your education prominently if it relates to the industry but make sure your great ability with people shines through (soccer coach for your kids? Volunteer somewhere?).

This “misc” section really depends on what you’ve done and what you’re looking to do. Remember that you want to highlight the most important things kin your past based on the job. For some jobs, your education is paramount. For others, it’s your knowledge. For others, it might be your unpaid work. Think about what makes you unique, what makes you stand out, what gives you an edge, and lean into that.


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