I oftentimes get asked by friends to make edits to their resumes. I actually really enjoy doing this. It allows me to do a few things:
- Sharpen my own skills
- See where “the norm” is for resume writing
- Realize where a lot of people go wrong
By example, I recently was helping a friend edit their resume. The resume went back and forth with some edits, both on formatting and content. My friend’s final draft came back with a note saying, “I took your edits and am using them as a guideline for interview questions, and I have answers prepared for them.” The suggested edits were not in the resume.
I cannot emphasize this enough – DO NOT ASSUME. Do not assume anything. Do not assume you will GET that interview to tell the interviewer your answers to the questions he wants to hear. Do not assume that the recruiter knows what you are talking about when you say “Displayed great communication skills” (what does that even mean??).
Leave nothing to chance. If you want someone to know, tell them. You may feel it will sound redundant if/when you get that interview, but at least you have covered your bases.
So, as you are preparing your resume, ask yourself:
- What do I want the reader to know?
- What do I know about my skills/qualifications that the reader does not?
- How can I explain this to a reader who doesn’t have a background in what I do?
- How can I show the reader that I am good at what I do?
- How can I make myself stand apart from everyone else?
- What kinds of questions would the reader have for me? How can I best answer them?
- How can I make my resume easy for the reader to pinpoint me as the best candidate?
Good luck! And, as always… I’m all ears!