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How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

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How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

So, you want to find a good job. The job of your dreams, actually. But there’s a small problem: you need a resume that will impress your potential boss and make them want you as an employee.

Resume writing is not difficult. We all know many tricks to writing a resume worth checking and reading. Many blogs and websites share the secrets of building a good resume. HR managers are happy to share various tricks on resume writing and teach you some hooks for making your resume look professional. But none of them works when you haven’t got anything to put on your resume!

How could you come to be in this situation?

  • Are you a graduate with no on-the-job experience yet?

  • Are you a worker without an official job?

  • Is your job experience not professional enough to share when you write a resume?

  • Your professional experience doesn’t fit a job position you apply for, does it?

  • Do you consider your achievements unworthy to mention in your resume?

Sometimes you can find up to 10 common resume problems, but no question mentioned above can be considered a reason to feel defeated and put an end to your new career before you start. Because you always have something to put on your resume and make it work. Check these out!

1. Pay attention to structure.

HR managers need less than 30 seconds to take a look at your resume and decide whether it is worth further reading. That’s why structure plays a quite important role here: your task is to write a resume that will be clear and easy to read.

Your structure should not be distracting. You should combine neat intervals with flat margins, and do not neglect paragraphs. If you need a printed version of your resume, print it with the help of the best laser printer you can find, so your text will look more presentable.

Make your resume readable, and do not forget to proofread it. Don’t trust spell-checkers: as we all know, they can miss even the most obvious spelling mistakes.

2. Put on more information about your education.

When graduates start their job searches, they usually have a lack of experience to put on their resumes. So, if you don’t have enough practice, your task is to persuade a recruiter that you know enough theory.

Mention all courses you’ve finished during your years at university. You can also write the topic of your last thesis or dissertation, and do not forget to mention any languages you speak.

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3. Remember that you do have work experience, even when you think you don’t.

If you still don’t have any professional experience, it doesn’t mean you do not have any work experience at all. When you write a resume, mention all probation or manufacturing practices (if you had them); don’t forget about volunteer programs you participated in, part-time jobs you probably had (even if you worked as a waiter for example), and your organized social activity during your college life.

This information will tell a recruiter many more facts about you than you think. It may show your leadership or organizational skills, and tell about your character and the talents you have.

4. Get some references.

Great references can really help you when you are a young specialist and you do not have enough experience yet. Keep in mind that your former bosses are not the only ones who can give you a reference: it can be your college professor, a leader of your volunteer organization, or a manager of some projects you took part in as a freelancer.

Don’t forget about the Internet, either. Your references do not necessarily have to be printed and signed: some positive comments on LinkedIn or other professional and authoritative networks can help you greatly with your job search.

5. Mention all your achievements.

You shouldn’t be too arrogant or boastful when you write a resume, but this doesn’t mean you should hide information about your achievements and positive traits.

Mention that you have a driving license for example, write about your readiness to learn something new and improve your skills, hint about your leadership qualities and ability to find an approach to different people. What traits do you have that could help you in your career? Are you communicative, open minded, stress resistant, ready for constant deadlines? Put them on your resume when you build it.

6. Use lists to write a resume.

Write a resume as a list. You can use such a format to mention your educational courses, your achievements, traits, and expectations from the job you apply for.

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First of all, it will be much easier for a recruiter to read this type of resume and quickly pick out the information they need. And such a trick will help your resume look very informative and solid when you don’t have many hard facts to mention there.

7. Write a resume for every job opportunity.

The ideal variant is to have resumes for every separate vacancy. As you can understand, some of your achievements may work well for one company but prevent another one from hiring you. Moreover, a recruiter for McDonald’s will hardly need information about your trait of taciturnity, for example. (Though we doubt if you need to mention this in your resume for your perfect career, either!)

Anyway, you’ve got the point, haven’t you? Each vacancy has particular requirements, and there is no need to send them a resume with information they do not require. HR managers are busy people, and they will hardly want to read about how good you are if you don’t have anything in your resume that would fit their expectations.

8. Don’t make your resume too long.

Make sure your resume is no longer than one side of an A4 page: that’s enough to mention all the important and essential information about your education, experience and other achievements. And it will be more comfortable for a recruiter to read it and see everything they need in order to understand whether or not you are a good candidate for them.

Some extra tips to improve your resume:

  • Use short phrases, and remember that if you use some specific terms, make sure that non-specialists will understand them as well.

  • Do not use abbreviations. Big chances are, HR managers will not know the meaning of them all.

  • Do not boast: be restrained, talking truthfully about your achievements.

  • Be accurate: avoid general phrases. Use exact names and titles.

  • Do not use too many different images, graphics, tables, frames, etc. Your resume should be clear and simple.

  • If you have such an opportunity, create a portfolio and make it work for you.

Even when you think you have nothing to put on your resume to make it look professional and competitive, there is always something in you that makes you special. Put it in your resume, and your perfect job will definitely find you.

Featured photo credit: samplemails via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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