In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.
Today’s topic is resumes. We know that the thought of updating your resume can be overwhelming, so we decided to share our top five tips for writing a compelling one.
1. Know your audience. Identify the three to five required skills and attributes of your target role.
Action item: Gather information from job descriptions, networking conversations, and the LinkedIn profiles of people who are currently working in your target roles.
2. Keep your audience in mind. Write bullets that highlight the required skills for the job and demonstrate your passion for the industry/function you are pursuing.
Action items: Reread each bullet point on your resume. Next to each item, write down the main skill or theme that the item communicates. (Hint: Look at the action verb at the beginning of each bullet.) Review your list, and then evaluate whether your resume comes across as relevant to your target employer.
3. Prioritize relevant content. A resume is not a list of everything you have ever done. If a skill isn’t relevant for your target audience or has already been highlighted multiple times on your resume, consider removing it or rewriting it to focus on another aspect of that accomplishment.
Action items: Order your bulleted items within each position by their relevance to your target audience, not based on the length of the project or the importance to your previous employer.
4. Create an aura of success; answer the “So what?” question. If your bullets read like a job description, you are missing an opportunity to differentiate your candidacy and show your track record of success.
Action items: Quantify the (realized or intended) impact you had on the department, company, clients, or processes. Add numbers to your resume to show the scope of your responsibility/level of complexity of your work. Highlight any promotions, awards, and honors.
5. Pay attention to the details. Your resume should have consistent formatting and be easy to read (avoid overusing italics, underline, and bold). Keep your margins to at least a half-inch on all sides.
Action item: Proofread—ask a friend to help you—and make sure there are no typos!
Have you been admitted to business school and want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential? Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!