Gone are the days when updating your resumé meant simply listing your most recent job responsibilities above your previous list of job responsibilities (and then running spell-check and clicking send.)
Today, to get recognized as the strong candidate that you are, you will want to take it a bit further. You will want to engage the readers of your resumé by telling your professional story.
A powerful way to do this is by highlighting your unique accomplishments, no matter how big or small and presenting this detail in a compelling format.
To help you effectively tell your professional story, we recommend a format such as the one in our example at the end of this article. It includes the following six content sections designed to illustrate your strengths and showcase your accomplishments:
First, clearly identify the type of professional that you are along with the top 3 - 5 attributes that uniquely contribute to making you a great hire.
For example, in our sample resumé below, Jamie A. Jobseeker is a Financial Management Professional with key strengths in process improvements; budgets; forecasting; reporting & analytics; and CostPoint software. The high-level competencies that make up Jamie’s professional brand are immediately apparent. And by presenting them as such, Jamie is highly likely to have awakened the interest of his/her resumé reviewer.
Next, include a Professional Profile. Leading your resumé with a well-written summary of your comprehensive experience and fundamental strengths is an impressive way to begin your professional story.
For example, in just four sentences Jamie A. Jobseeker clearly communicates his/her quantitative and qualitative experience, areas of specialization and expertise, industry knowledge, hard and soft skills, and recognitions received. Jamie’s resumé reviewer is certain to keep reading.
Expand on your ‘Professional Attributes’ and ‘Professional Profile’ content with a list of your Core Competencies. Think of this as the “Featured Skills and Endorsements” section of your LinkedIn profile. Present this in a clean, no-nonsense format, sans any fluff.
In our sample resumé, Jamie chose to alphabetize the list. Alternatively, you may prefer to present your core competencies list in order of significance.
Here is where you will want to list your relevant professional experience and accomplishments. Do this with a brief paragraph summarizing your role, job description and responsibilities for each position.
Follow this paragraph with a bullet list of key accomplishments. This list isn’t meant to be a regurgitation of your Resume. Rather, use this space to highlight where you excelled in the position.
For example, focus on areas where you brought value, contributed to the bottom line, resolved issues, contributed to internal improvements, received recognition, etc.
List any degrees, training, or certifications received and when and where you earned them. Oh, and if your GPA happened to have earned honors (e.g., Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude), let it be known!
Honors and Awards
Remember, it is worthwhile to list your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Jamie A. Jobseeker happened to receive special awards by each of his/her employers. Jamie also happened to be on the Dean’s List all through college and was inducted into a nationally recognized honor society.
Yes, a lot of people have achieved the same or similar, but a lot also have not. Regardless, these honors and awards are an important part of Jamie A. Jobseeker’s unique professional story.
So, the next time you go to update your resumé, we hope that you will use these tips and the sample resumé below to help tell your professional story.
And, after you create your resumé, increase the likelihood of it rising to the top of the pile by submitting it with a compelling cover letter.