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If you’ve been looking for a professional resume that really works. One that instantly sets you apart from other candidates.
Well, I have one that may do just that. It’s not wildly different from thousands of other professional resumes out there, but it is different enough in the right places.
And I’ll explain why.
But first, why still a focus on resumes and cover letters when there are so many new digital ways to share your experience with the world?
Truth: A professional resume or CV is still the only document universally requested by HR, recruiters and hiring managers the world-over.
So yours better be good at communicating your unique skills. And highlighting meaningful accomplishments.
Yes, you must have a solid and well-written LinkedIn profile. And wherever you are online (Twitter, Facebook), make sure you are sharing the best parts of you.
But if your professional resume or cv stinks, it won’t matter if they found you first on LinkedIn. And liked you. It won’t matter that you were fun and interesting on Twitter.
Because everyone who only sees your resume or CV will have a very different view of you.
So, here’s the template I like so much. It is the one that I created for my personal use and the one I suggest others follow when I do resume reviews.
It is available now as a free download for job seekers. One that you can use and share freely with others. If you like it.
There are seven sections:
1. Name and Contact Information
No major surprises here. I leave off your street address. Partly due to safety issues and partly due to relevance. Save it for the application. The address to your LinkedIn profile is added. Says you are social media savvy and gives you a chance to highlight some early recommendations. Assuming you have a few on your profile. You should have at least 10 (4 bosses, 3 peers, 3 direct reports).
2. Your Positioning Statement
First you need to know how to write your positioning statement. Once you have figured that out, it becomes the first words someone reads about you. 4-6 words. To instantly create a first impression. It is an important statement that you will support with content from the next two sections.
3. Next A Career Summary
This is written (1st person) in a few brief, strong and confident sentences. If you have an “objective” on your resume, remove it and replace it with a career summary. A “career objective” is information for the eyes of your network and belongs on your one page networking bio. Not on your resume. The career summary is here to support your positioning statement with your big skills and key accomplishments.
4. Followed By 6-10 Key Strengths
You can either bullet these or separate them as I have done here. But make sure they can be quickly and easily scanned by a human. Not just a computer (30 comma separated strengths are hard on the eyes). Listing key strengths allows someone to quickly determine relevance to requirements on the job description. The key strengths further support your positioning statement and career summary by identifying the specific characteristics or experience areas that cement your qualifications.
5. Your Recent Experience
This is perhaps the most poorly organized section in all the resumes and CVs I’ve seen. The biggest issue? People confusing responsibilities with accomplishments. Or only including the former. If you only include responsibilities on your resume, you will not stand out. And you will not illustrate your value in a way that others can. Using strong, relevant and measurable accomplishments helps hiring managers envision your doing those same great things on their team. Your responsibilities should be written in one or two short sentences to clarify the role played, departments managed, etc.
Worth mentioning here is the use of a company description. Including one can be a big help if a prior company is not well known. It can add credibility when none is apparent from the name. For example, your company might have the number one brand of commercial floor cleaning products. Who knew?
6. Your Early Experience
The only thing to illustrate here is that your early experience (10+ years ago) is less relevant and should take up less space on your resume. Less detail on what you did and fewer accomplishments to share. Ten years is a long time. Of course, if your best job was 10+ years ago or if it is an important job to illustrate key abilities or industry knowledge, you can always add a few more points as space allows.
7. Your Education
For some resumes, this section can be vital. If you have a recent degree (MBA, PhD) that you want to highlight or if you went to a top university that you know hiring managers are looking for in a candidate. But for most, this section is more of a rubber stamp. Degreed? Yes. Great.
And for others, this section represents a tough question. Do I include dates for my education? Since there is a problem with age discrimination in some parts of the world, including dates tells a hiring manager fairly quickly how old you are. My personal opinion is to leave the dates off if you are worried about it. Takes away the worry. And the truth is that your relative age will become obvious at the interview.
You’ll notice I don’t include any other information on the template. A lot of resumes include add-ons:
- awards, certifications, seminars attended, hobbies, references, personal accomplishments, photos
I don’t include any of those on my resume. And they are not on the template either. Because I don’t think that they are a part of the criteria that most managers use to decide an interview schedule. Of course, there are always exceptions. I met a CEO/COO recently who was trying to decide whether his mountain climbing passion belonged on his resume. In his case, mountain climbing (hard, requires strength of body/mind) supported his positioning statement (i.e. aggressive, hard charging decision maker). Made sense. I have seen good use of a photo (it’s on LinkedIn already, right?) but I have seen too many bad uses to recommend it for everyone.
I hope this TruFocus™ Professional Resume and CV Template helps you focus your content within a few pages. After all, a resume or CV is a marketing document. You need your best content to be found quickly and easily. And you want people to read it. That’s why the top four sections fall within the top half of page one.
If you’d like to see my version as an example, comment below and make sure you include your e-mail in the comment form (no one can see it but me).
Would love your feedback either way . . .
And for those of you interested in a cover letter template, here it is: Introducing the TruFocus Cover Letter Template
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: cover letter | cover letter templates | cover letters | CV | employment | human resource management | job descriptions | LinkedIn | management | professional resume | professional resumes | recruitment | resume | resume review | resume templates | templates
Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes