Writing A Resume for Yourself!
By Dr. Judi Craig
What, you say? For myself? Why would I want a resume for myself?
Today the generic resume is passé. When you do send a resume you want it to be targeted toward a specific job position. Even the items on the resume will differ according to the type of job you are seeking. You may want to apply for several different types of positions for which you feel qualified and will need to generate a different resume for each.
The reason you want to create a resume for yourself is so you have your entire work history and accomplishments handy, including dates. This document is for your eyes only, but will serve several purposes:
· You will force yourself to think about activities and work you’ve done that you might not have thought about in many years; · You’ll have everything handy so that you can pick and choose appropriate entries as you create your specific resume for a specific job; · You’ll have a great document to review before you go to an interview—a confidence booster as well as a tool to keep your work history fresh in your mind.
First, write down your job objectives including your industry, the kind of company you want to work for, your anticipated title, scope of responsibilities, salary range and geographic location. You need to be clear about just what it is that you want. Not to mention the fact that companies now want to hire people that know exactly what they want, not those who approach potential employers with the “I can do lots of different jobs, what’s available?” attitude.
Then list your work history including companies, positions, supervisors, job responsibilities (including number and titles of people supervised and any quantification of areas of responsibility) and reasons for leaving.
Now make a list of your accomplishments for each job position you held. These would include specific estimates related to sales, effect on the company’s bottom line and/or cost savings given in numbers, percentages or dollars. Aim for a minimum of three accomplishments per job.
Be sure you make a distinction between experience and accomplishments. The statement that you were a student teacher for two years lists experience; to say that you were a student teacher who taught 435 students over a two-year time period is an accomplishment. Likewise, saying you created a marketing plan tells something about your experience; saying you created a marketing plan that resulted in a 23% increase in product sales lists an accomplishment.
What if you worked your way through college as a waiter in a restaurant? What accomplishments could you list for that job? Perhaps you were voted “best server” of the month, averaged the highest tips per quarter or had 14 letters written to the management by happy customers whom you served in a two-year time period. Maybe you were the one waiter that never received any customer complaints. These are all accomplishments.
Although quantifying accomplishments is fairly easy in sales, it can be difficult in other types of jobs. Think in terms of time or money saved or of the dollar value of clients you brought into the business. For any initiative that you started, what was the quantifiable result for the company? These figures will be estimates, of course, but employers understand that. So long as you can present a reasonable case for how you came up with your figures, if asked, you’re okay.
Then list managerial and/or technical recommendations you made during your career, quantifying the results whenever possible. Write down your lateral transfers and promotions as well as any awards or honors you received. Don’t overlook special assignments or projects, even though they may have been brief. List publications, books or reports you either wrote or supervised/edited as well as inventions, copyrights, etc. Point out the special significance of these, if appropriate.
Do you have other qualifications unrelated to work? Foreign languages? Special licenses or certifications? List them.
Now list your hobbies and recreational pursuits.
Finally, list your educational history including schools, degrees, special courses and programs, continuing education or any other type of professional training.
There you have it. You’ve created a thorough document that you can pull information from when writing letters or resumes. And having gone to the trouble to quantify several accomplishments from each and every job you held will serve you well in selling yourself to a prospective employer--whether it be in writing or during an interview.
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