While some resume writers or recruiters would stress that you need to keep your resume to one page or use the same format as others, that is not always the case. This ‘one size fits all’ approach can pressure you to leave out information or experience that could be the connection that gets you the interview. While simple, direct statements are something to keep in mind (no novels needed!), this template is the guide to help you edit your experience so it is presented in a thoughtful, strategic, and developmentally appropriate way.
The purpose of your resume is to qualify you for the next step in the hiring process. It’s the beginning of a conversation where the reader wants to get to know the how’s and why’s of your experience. The how’s and why’s of your experience are the stories of your career that you share during conversations throughout the interview process or in networking conversations with co-workers, your manager, or new connections.
This resume guide includes resume writing tips, editing tips, copy suggestions and ways to present your experience effectively.
Use two columns to help you visually align the most relevant information. It lets the reader see your experience alongside the key skills which support that experience. This format makes it easier for the person reviewing your resume to do so quickly and without scrolling to the bottom to search for those key skills [especially the keyword matching screeners who are likely the first ones to qualify your resume for the next step].
If you are using a two column resume [or any designed or stylized template], edit it in your chosen software [Google Docs, MS Word, Pages, InDesign, Google Slides etc] but don’t forget to send it out as a PDF so the design is locked and the person you send it to will receive the correct version. Name it simple & easily searchable, First Name Last Name_Resume2020. Always, always test first. Measure twice, cut once!
When you upload your resume to a careers site use a simple non-formatted version (aka: the ugly one). Typically these older ATS systems request word files to upload your resume then attach the designed PDF in the section for attachments (this is usually where they ask you to upload a cover letter).
The goal of your resume is to persuade the reader to request an interview. If you’re a recent grad or making a career change, pivot, transition (whichever word we call it), lead with the work that connects you to the job you want. Skip the summary & lead with your projects to focus the attention of the reader on what connects you best to the roles you are targeting. Work is work whether it’s paid freelance, free client work, class work or simply something you decided to do that you are proud of. Show people what you can create and deliver, give insights into how you think, and then tell them how and why you’re right for the role in the interview.
Many people only hold one title at each company, which makes laying out your experience easy. The use of two columns helps you visually align the most relevant information onto one page and it allows the reader to see your work alongside your key skills thereby qualifying you for the role quickly and conveniently.
If you held different titles at the same company there are different ways to present multiple roles at one company. The simplest way is to keep all titles under the same company and use a slight indent which allows for your work history to stand out more than the company name as well as highlight the mobility and likely promotions that you earned.
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I’ve created resume templates for the 3 scenarios mentioned above which are accessible to all Allora Collective clients. These templates, along with our Job Search Tracker and Job Search Networking sheets will be available for purchase on the website shortly, stay tuned!
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