This worksheet was designed by an attorney* to serve as a guide toward the design, structure, content, and delivery of a modern résumé. To enhance your learning experience, please read the worksheet in its entirety prior to applying these instructions to your own résumé and/or life experience (henceforth, referred to simply as, “Résumé”).
1. Start with a Decent Template
Here are a few sites to download résumé templates:
Word and PDF: http://www.resumetemplates.com/
2. Trust the Template
They were designed by professionals, and professionals like working with other professionals who listen to them…so, no…no, we’re not interested in your ideas at this time.
3. Stick to a One-Page Résumé
McDonald’s explains what they do in 400 characters and a pic (and we all have access to the same tool, so there’s no excuse).
4. Include Your Most Recent GPA
If we’re looking for a Master’s Degree, nobody cares about your high school GPA, your kindergarten grades, or what electives you chose.
5. List Your Latest Work First
Your McDonald’s Shift Leader position looks less and less impressive as you age, and your résumé should reflect that you’ve resumed your life since then. Speaking of which…
6. Exaggerate the Best Way Anyone Ever Has…Like, Ever
We all started at the bottom, so we’ve likely worked your position and know what it takes. Your résumé tells me what you learned about a situation I’ve already been through. Also, *I’m not actually a lawyer, but I’ve worked with plenty.
7. Sugarcoat Responsibly
Focus on your battles, and the way you recovered from losses. If you think you’re the first idiot who thought they were perfect, you’re destined to fail. Nobody will trust in your life…much less you in their lives.
8. Take Advantage of Section Headings
Do you see how simple this article looks? I sound professional with these tips (despite my snide remarks) because I’m following an easy-to-read format that slowly entices you to pay more attention. You didn’t think you’d actually learn something from this, did you?
9. Move Your References to a Separate Document
Mention that you have references, but don’t bother listing them. We’re more interested in what you know than who because the people you know aren’t as important as you think they are.
10. Lead with Active Verbs
The first word of every point you make should be some type of action you really want to drill into the reader’s head.
11. Utilize Every Word
Every keystroke matters; it shows your attention to detail, your craft – it shows what you’re capable of.
12. Doing What You Say You Do
With so little space, it’s vital to fit as many points in there as possible.
If you send it digitally, the links will prove what you’re saying. If you’re printing your résumé on paper, it’ll at least provide intuitive access to your own portfolio.
14. Format as a PDF Unless Otherwise Told
Even the file format you use makes an impression on people. Every keystroke counts (including Enter when ending the file); never forget that.
15. Use a Dark Blue Font
It’s the absolute only color you should ever use in a résumé. Look at the President’s State of the Union. What color suit is worn most often by the politicians in the room whose one job is to appeal to everyone? You better learn about it.
16. Follow Conventions, but Don’t Sweat Them
Grammar Nazis are notorious for resuming their rigid regime of résumé regimens they believe everyone should follow. Understand that miner mistakes aren’t often noticed since they’re buried in solid structures and foundations. (See, did you even notice that?)
17. Match Your Résumé to Your LinkedIn Profile
[Grabs you by the ears and screams] Repeat after me: “My LinkedIn profile is my résumé, and my résumé is my LinkedIn profile.” It’s for better or worse at this point, folks, because we’re past the honeymoon phase with this company.
18. Update Your Résumé Every Six Months
You should resume updating your résumé, or you’ll forget important jobs you’ve done. Instead of showing a glimpse into your life, it’ll be a page of fluff.
19. Splurge on Paper
Men tend to tie their level of professionalism to what’s around their neck, but your best impression lies in the paper stock quality of your résumé. The fancier the paper, the less likely someone will be to throw it away without looking at it. It’s a psychological thing; just trust me on this.
20. Send It Out
You could have the best résumé in the world, but you’ll never get a job with it sitting on your computer (unless maybe your portfolio includes hacking).
21. End with Your Contact Info
Many people focus on having their contact info on the header. You want your name and location at the top, but your contact info at the bottom, along with your name and the closer.
22. Quote Statistics
Recent studies have shown that 73% of prospective employers love statistics in résumés; it’s the easiest way to relay to them that there are quantifiable results in your words. Don’t worry too much about the accuracy of your statistics – 67% of reference transactions are practically automated at this point, so I’m compelled to once again say grades don’t matter.
23. Paint by Numbers
The more numbers you use, the better. It helps people put an organizational order to the points you’re making much more easily than bullet points. Look at how the info is arranged when you input it on job search sites.
24. Inspire the Hire
You want to close everything you write with a call to order; you want your résumé to say, “This is who I am. Trust me. Choose me. Pay me. Because I get the job done.” And leave them salivating for more.
You may resume your regular regimen.
Featured photo credit: SighlentJ via flickr.com