Advertising
Advertising

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…

     

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    More by this author

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods 20 Awesome Screensavers that Make your Desktop Delightful

    Trending in Work

    1 Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead 2 How to Change Careers When It Seems Too Late 3 How to Start a Startup Fast: 5 Essential Steps 4 7 Steps to Achieve Career Success on Your Own Terms 5 13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

    Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

    Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

    Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

    Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

    Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

    Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

    1. Make Time for You

    If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

    Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

    Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

    Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

    For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

    By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

    Advertising

    2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

    Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

    Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

    When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

    It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

    Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

    3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

    According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

    For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

    If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

    4. Work on Your Personal Brand

    Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

    Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

    What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

    Advertising

    Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

    Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

    5. Be Accountable

    Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

    For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

    When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

    6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

    All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

    Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

    Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

    It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

    7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

    Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

    It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

    Advertising

    This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

    If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

    To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

    For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

    You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

    8. Learn to Embrace Failure

    Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

    The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

    In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

    We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

    However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

    Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

    Advertising

    “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    9. Build Your Resilience

    Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

    Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

    Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

    In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

    Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

    10. Ask for Help

    It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

    No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

    My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

    1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
    2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
    3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

    Final Thoughts

    You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

    Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

    Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next