As a career management professional, I have been writing, creating, developing and/or critiquing résumés with and for clients since a gazillion years ago in 1985. I suspect the résumé-related creations / critiques number somewhere in the hundreds upon hundreds by now, though I stopped counting a while ago.
And to this day, I still fondly recall the name of my first client who entrusted me to write his résumé — his name was Ron; he passed away a few years ago. We both shared a love of German Shorthairs and some two decades later, I am once again reminded of questions I asked him to consider as he reviewed my résumé work. First and foremost, I offered to Ron:
Forget that I wrote this thing for you. Here is a red pen – I want you to take it, pretend you don’t know me, and go to town on this new you on paper.
And as recently as yesterday, I am still inviting people to review, proof and “go to town on their résumé,” keeping their senses in mind as they consider the following questions:
- Is the overall appearance of the résumé distinct, unique and one-of-a-kind or does what you see look similar to other résumés you have encountered online or offline?
- Do you agree with the language and verbiage selected to represent you?
- If you had to describe 10 things about yourself that support your new target goal, are these 10 elements included to your liking or do we need to add, change, or delete something to make it better and more like you?
- Does this résumé convey a strong sense of organization or do you find that it is cluttered and hard to read?
- Does the résumé grab your attention within seconds of perusing it?
- Are you convinced without question that this new document conveys the who, what and why of your story in a way that you like – and/or love?
- Does your résumé include new and relevant endorsements of your work to align with your target goal – and not available elsewhere?
- Does your new résumé sound like you as you slowly and methodically read it aloud?
- Does your new résumé give the reader a sense of your overall value and how much you are worth price-wise?
- Do you like the feel of your new résumé? Does it feel like something you are excited, motivated and eager to share with your network, hiring managers and recruiters?
And last, but not least, do you boldly proclaim: “Wow, I’d hire me!” as you finish the review of your résumé written by a pro?
Billie Sucher is a nationally-known career transition expert, outplacement consultant, professional résumé writer, speaker, author, poet, and prolific blogger for Career Hub, an award-winning blog that provides “free advice from the experts” for job seekers everywhere. For over two decades, she has provided professional career management services to organizations and individuals (entry-level to executive-level) throughout the country. Sucher holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Drake University and numerous industry certifications including International Job and Career Transition Coach, Career Thought Leaders Credentialed Career Manager Distinction and William Bridge’s Transition Management Certification. She invites you to visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.