HomePostsDec 05, 2008

Curing Underemployment (or) Josh’s Six Step Plan to a Great Resume (part 5 of 6)

Yesterday, I went through the fourth step in my resume-writing process, creating a rough draft. We’re in the home stretch!

Step 5: “Final” draft time… buckle down

OK, you have a resume, you’re about 80% there. Now it’s time to bring it all together.

First, lay it all out. Personal statement is first, then what? Education? What is the most important thing about the job you’re applying to? If you’re applying to be a web developer, your skill set is probably more important than your BA degree from a few years ago. If, however, you’re applying to be a college professor, your education is probably pretty darn important. Don’t stress too much about the order, however, because there’s plenty more to do.

Once you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to start collecting, cutting, and collating. In your skills list, group similar skills together and cut out parts that are non-essential or just distracting. Use commas, connectors, and creative words to cut down on length and content.

Next, take a hard look at your positions and do the same. You want to reduce the length of your resume as much as possible but include the most important things. This is a delicate balance and it might take a few iterations to get it right.

You also want to be telling an interesting story about your employment. Stop laughing, I mean it. It’s all connected and you had the jobs you had for a reason. For each position, you want to show your progression and why you were important at each step of the way. Just because you did the same thing everyday for 3 years doesn’t mean you weren’t an integral part of the process. Make sure that the progress and the story you’re telling ALWAYS relates back to the job for which you’re applying.

A few tips:

Get it written, make sure it’s not over a page (unless it really needs to be [show-off]), then give it a rest. The more you work on something so boring and important, the more you’re going to hate it. Crank it out and put it down for a day.

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Personal Development