5 Tips for creating an effective resume


We’ve all gone through that daunting task of trying to find a job at one point or another.  It’s not fun at all and it can be very depressingl.  But I think if we all had a little help from those behind the scenes who really know the process, it would make the job hunt a lot easier.

Last Thursday, I was invited to an event held by Georgia Southern Alumni Association and CareerBuilder called “Lunch and Learn”.  The speaker was Lindsey Nelson who is the Vice President of Sales Productivity at Careerbuilder.com and fellow alumna.  She spoke on a variety of topics including navigating the internet job searches, finding your passion, and much more.  But what stuck out to me the most was some of her advice on resume building.  I decided to share some tips that I received from her that I felt were vital to creating an effective and outstanding resume.

  1. Begin by jotting down bullet points on paper.  What were some of your big wins at your last employer(s)?  Where did you improve processes?  What were some results driven activities?  What would the potential employer get if they hired you?  These are some questions that should be answered in your resume.
  2. Education section should not be first on resume.  This depends on the potential position for which you’re applying.  If the job description does not highlight a certain level of education as being a requirement for the job, then it does not need to be at the top of your resume.  However, if a certain degree is pertinent to that position, then it would make sense to place it on the top of the resume.  Basically, start with your best and most relevant duties and accomplishments.
  3. A resume is not your work history. Resumes serve many purposes; a summary of your last ten jobs is not one of them.  The ultimate purpose of a resume is to secure an interview.  In order to secure that interview, your resume should only include information and points that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. It shouldn’t show a bunch of jobs that have nothing to do with the position that you’re trying to get.  So, list your past positions that display your strengths and are relevant.  Your potential employer will appreciate the fact that you’ve gotten straight to the point.
  4. Tweak resume for each job.  Your resume for a Business Analyst position should not be identical to your resume for a Sales Associate position.  This is because an employer hiring a Business Analyst will not be looking for the same skill set that an employer hiring a Sales Associate will be looking for.  Make sure your skills and accomplishments match up with the prerequisites of the potential position.
  5. Cover letters in addition to your resume can only help your chances. The question was raised, “How important is a cover letter?”  Some companies require a cover letter while others don’t ask for one.  So, if the cover letter is required, then you must send it along with your resume.  However, if a potential employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, should you still send one?  The consensus was that it could only help you to send one.  Cover letters can help to set you apart from other candidates because they give you a chance to further highlight your skills, interests, and qualifications for the job. This concept also applies to thank you letters.  It won’t hurt you to send them.

Some other helpful tips I received.

  • Talent Networks are networks that companies create that allow candidates to provide their contact information, resumes, cover letters, etc. in order to be matched with job opportunities and notified when new positions are available.  According to the speaker, you should join talent networks because they keep you engaged and they help you find jobs that you actually like.
  • If there is a certain job or career that you like but you don’t currently have the skill set to qualify for the job, find out what the learning path looks like for the job you want and get started on that path.
  • Sometimes it isn’t necessary to go back to school just because you’ve chosen a new career path. A lot of jobs only require you to have specific certifications to qualify for a position.  For example, a payroll professional doesn’t necessarily have to have a degree, but most employers required that you have your CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) certification.
  • The speaker also showed us a website called Findyourcalling.com.  This website prompts you to answer a few personality questions that will lead you to some suggestions for careers that fit your personality and interests.

This was my first time attending the “Lunch and Learn” series but it will not be my last.  I’m happy that I was able to gain some great information that I could provide to you.  I hope this was helpful to those of you looking to find new jobs and/or careers. 

Do you want to see more posts like this? Let me know in the comments section below.

Talk to you soon!!!


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