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24 Practical Tips To Make Your Résumé Perfect

24 Practical Tips To Make Your Résumé Perfect

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:

Microsoft: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?ctags=CT010144894

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1aIYgnE

Word and PDF: http://www.resumetemplates.com/

Resume.pdf.lifehack.versabilityjpg
    No Johns were hurt in the making of this Lifehack…

     

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    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.

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    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.

    13. Link to Your Portfolio

    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    Last Updated on February 20, 2019

    17 Versatile Work Skills That Will Gain You More Career Opportunities

    17 Versatile Work Skills That Will Gain You More Career Opportunities

    When we look at a job advertisement, it can seem as though employers want an exhaustive list of experience and technical skills from their new hire.

    They list desirable qualities such as ‘initiative’, ‘team player’ and ‘strong work ethic’. Those words can mean a variety of things to different people and it can be quite hard for employers to illustrate fully the combination of technical and soft skills they want their potential employees to have.

    What they often want is a mix of versatile skills that make it easy for them (and you) to adapt to the changing needs and demands which occur in businesses today.

    After all, adaptability and innovation are what make businesses thrive.

    In today’s ever-changing environment, versatility is a mandatory attitude every working person needs to have. With the following seventeen work skills, you will not only make your employer extremely happy and confident that hiring you was their best decision, you will experience greater personal satisfaction and results.

    1. Know What You Want but More so Why You Want It

    Employers need to sense you have a solid idea as to why you are a fit for their role and their organization. They need to sense you have your own sense of purpose.

    However, it can be a double-edged sword to say you know exactly what you want to achieve and gain if you are successful in your application and interview.

    Some employers can perceive this as arrogance; your needs first, theirs second. What employers are really looking for is your internal sense of knowing that potential to join their organization is a winning combination for both of you.

    2. Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution Skills Save Money, Lost Productivity and Efficiency

    Can you agree to disagree? Can you evaluate without passing judgment or at least be self-aware of your own biases? Can you put these aside to find solutions for the betterment of the team?

    Employers look for versatility in soft work skills that bring peace, lower stress and contribute to creating harmony. If you have ways with words to help heated arguments reduce to a simmer so there is space for compromises, negotiations and reasoning to take place your employers’ respect for you will jump at least tenfold.

    Peace-making skills are invaluable in changing workplace culture, particularly toxic ones. Any good employer knows a strong in-house negotiator will save them thousands of dollars in engaging an external mediator.

    3. Know How to Set and Reframe Your Own Goals

    Much research has documented that when employees have a clear purpose, mission and goals, they are more likely to be highly productive. They are less likely to flounder around in many directions nor be busy and not produce results that matter.

    Employers know well that employees who develop their own goals and can align these with those of the company are more self-driven, self-sufficient and take greater ownership for performing their role.

    And the benefit is not only to the employers. You personally will find greater personal satisfaction from achieving targets you have chosen to set yourself. Everyone wins!

    4. Great Time Management and Organization Skills Make You Highly Productive

    Being able to exercise versatility with these work skills needs no explanation. Great time management does not mean multi-tasking. It actually uses more brain power and reduces effectiveness.

    Having great skills to prioritize your activities and demands, being able to assess how long things might take you to address are planning skills which greatly aid effective and better execution.

    Working in harmony with your colleagues’ timetables makes for better teamwork and workflow plus a less stressed environment.

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    In today’s working world, any strategies for reducing stress-invoking opportunities are like finding golden nuggets. Your employer will want to hold on to those for dear life!

    5. Be a Flexible Team Player by Being Able to Change Roles When Required

    Employers will be looking to see how flexible a team player, a potential employee could be.

    If you are a natural leader, being a better team player might, in fact, mean you stepping down from the helm and encouraging someone else to exercise and step into their leadership potential.

    It might be more beneficial to your employer to play the role of Indian as opposed to the Chief in certain situations. Stepping into different positions on your team not only helps you grow but also the rest of your team.

    Employers relish having a versatile work team which can adapt and is ready and willing to play different roles, even if uncomfortable when crises happen.

    6. Initiative, Self-Motivated and Driven

    When you have your own internal reasons for looking to undertake a role your motivation is driven by something sizzling inside of you.

    There is a personal drive and desire for the satisfaction you will experience when you meet a certain target that no other person will be able to give to you.

    When you can genuinely identify and demonstrate your own personal connection to the role’s objectives and the greater goals of your employer’s business, they will see you have an internal drive that they don’t need to whip and flog to keep the momentum going.

    Any employer will be grateful they just need to help navigate you and support you with the right tools and network and off you go.

    7. Be Confident but Not Arrogant

    Imagine if you were conducting initial telephone interviews with shortlisted candidates and one of the questions they asked was:

    “How long would it be until I’ll be eligible for a pay rise or promotion?”

    There is a significant difference between being confident and arrogant. Employers are not looking for confidence purely in you being able to perform every aspect of your role at gold star level.

    It comes with being comfortable to say you don’t understand, you have made a mistake, you need support, further training, acknowledging what your limits are and being willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone.

    When you’re a new kid on the block, respecting that you may need to learn to walk before you can run is essential. Unless it is your job to start making significant changes from day one, chances are you’re going to create enemies if you’re so confident your new methods and ideas should replace existing processes.

    8. A Positive Attitude

    Demonstrating positivity as a work skill that will truly win over your new employer is about being genuine and actively applying strategies which look for the glass half full.

    Recruiters and employers are not dumb. They can easily see through short-term bright smiles, nervous giggling and general ‘you just need to think positive’ statements.

    In the face of grueling challenges, employers are going to look much more favorably on that candidate who can acknowledge the negative features of a situation but still encourage another solution-focused perspective to be adopted.

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    Even better, if you can use language effectively to demonstrate how you have adopted a positive perspective and helped turned around a tough situation.

    It is one thing to have a positive attitude but your potential employer will see you as a superhero if you can show them how you have successfully applied it.

    Take a look at these tips to learn more about staying positive:

    10 Tips To Make Positive Thinking Easy

    9. You Are Resourceful but Know the Value of Asking for Help

    There is nothing more unproductive (let alone frustrating) than that person who simply asks out loud a question to their team when they could simply have Googled the answer.

    Or worse still, they have a manual at their fingertips which has the answer to their question…they were simply too lazy to look for themselves.

    Be that person with Sherlock Holmes as their middle name who sleuths like a dog after a buried bone. You can research and turn over stones to discover and learn what you need but you also are able to ask for help and assistance when you need to.

    Any employer will relish that person who looks to discover the answers to their own questions first before reaching out and asking for help.

    Hesitate to ask for help? This article may just change your mind:

    Afraid to Ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

    10. Emotional Intelligence Creates a Harmonious Workflow

    Despite the level of seniority of your role having a strong ability to handle emotions is fast becoming an essential work skill (and also life skill).

    It is even more desirable for any employer when your work skill set includes the ability to detect, adapt to and have skills in managing certain emotional patterns of others you need to work with, manage or report to.

    So much time, energy and productivity is lost due to individuals’ lack of skills in this area. Any manager who can see you possess and can demonstrate such versatile work skills will think they’ve won the managerial lottery!

    You can learn how to improve your Emotional Intelligence from this article:

    7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

    11. Be Able to Adapt Your Learning Style

    There is no real evidence that using preferred learning styles actually increase the rate at which we learn nor the effectiveness of certain styles.

    However, being able to make changes to what we are given to learn and adapting it to suit our needs and preferences does help us settle into a new work transition sooner.

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    We also need to recognize that even though we feel uncomfortable learning a new skill a certain way, it might actually be the way we need to receive it to cement the learning. It is also likely that our new employer only knows or has a budget to deliver training in a certain way.

    Either we can choose to adapt or resist but we know for sure the latter is not going to benefit to anyone.

    Want to find out what your learning style is? Take this quiz:

    How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life

    12. Flexible Leadership Style

    Dan Goleman has conducted extensive research on different leadership styles, emphasizing that being versatile to switch between different styles (e.g. authoritative, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pace-setting) and knowing when to do is a fundamental skill for any leader.

    Being able to change your style to lead other people is as important as how you lead your own role responsibilities.

    If you want to be a better leader, these books are great resources:

    15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

    13. Incredible Communication Skills That Actively Listen and Give Clear Messages

    Strong and effective communication across all mediums takes time, life experience and highly developed intuition.

    Knowing when to use email, a face to face conversation or telephone discussion is one thing. Another is to use words which emotionally connect and influence the receiver to accept, hear and heed your message.

    Great communicators know that it is their responsibility as much as the receiver for good communication to take place. However, they also know that the receiver may not feel this is the case.

    When you can listen equally, be sensitive to read between the lines to hear the message of ineffective communicators and can respond kindly with inspiring, equalizing and encouraging words, your influence and general likeability as a new addition to your employer’s team will develop in leaps and bounds.

    These books are also nice resources to learn effective communication:

    13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships

    14. Accountable, Responsible and Dependable

    We’ve all worked with people or managers at some point who lay external blame the instance something goes wrong.

    Contrary to popular belief, making mistakes and owning up to it is a highly desirable and versatile work skill that gains loyalty and understanding particularly when mistakes occur.

    Owning up to errors early allows both yourself and the business to recover quickly and shows you’re willing to take responsibility to continue forward on when you have stumbled.

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    When you illustrate you can do this, you build your employer’s trust and faith in you.

    15. Exercise Proactive Self-Awareness

    Self-reflection is a highly empowering work skill that contributes greatly to becoming better and performing better.

    When you actively look for the achievement, celebrate your success and look for pockets of where mistakes you have made can be corrected you improve faster, become more effective and make your work easier.

    When you start to look at your own errors, receiving feedback from your employer about the same errors can feel far less confronting and having corrective conversations is easier, transparent and far less stressful and emotional.

    You naturally increase your resilience and make life easier for yourself and your employer if you conduct regular self-check-ins and keep your employer updated.

    Here’s how to practice self-awareness:

    How to Increase Your Self Awareness to Be Much More Successful

    16. Apply a Problem-Solving Growth Mindset

    When faced with a problem or challenge, your ability to activate a growth mindset is a highly versatile work skill employers love. Not only are you able to reduce the pain and anguish that a fixed mindset can sustain but your ability to remain open to possibilities to find different pathways or ideas is refreshing and helpful.

    If your thought patterns automatically ask: “How can we?” or you often think “there must be a way”, you will only contribute to creating growth opportunities for your organization and inspire others to think the same way.

    Learn more about developing a growth mindset here:

    5 Ways to Cultivate a Growth Mindset for Self Improvement

    17. Be Teachable

    If you have ever tried to teach someone a new skill or technique and they keep reverting back to traditional ways that are familiar to them, you might have become frustrated to the point of giving up.

    Don’t be that person who’s stuck in tradition which no longer serves the business. Whether you are entering a new environment, learning new software or negotiation skills, know that all employers need people who are open to being taught.

    Innovation is a core concern of every business. Innovation means change and change means doing something different.

    Stay Versatile and Keep Learning

    Technical skills can often be taught. Ray Croc illustrated how well a systemized franchise can dominate the planet. Over 36,000 McDonald’s establishments around the world are run by managers barely in their twenties!

    Soft work skills, however, take time to develop, learn and confidently apply.

    There is a key combination of work skills that would make any candidate employer’s dream. However, the essential factor underlying all of these work skills is versatility.

    Equip yourself with these 17 work skills, stay curious and keep learning; and you’ll always nail the job you want.

    More Resources About Career Success

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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