If you are like most HR pros, recruiters or even business owners, you read resumes on a daily basis. If you are on the Internet at all or read a newspaper you see advice all the time for job hunters on how to write a resume and to make it so it attracts an employer’s attention. CareerBuilders put one up on their site (sorry no link available) entitled A Resume Checklist: 13 Things To Do Before You Apply for the Job. It includes advice that you will find in similar articles.
As I read the article I thought “Hmmm… some of this advice should be heeded by people who have a job.” Tom Peters, management guru, and one of my business mentors (though he doesn’t know it), has said that he thinks the best performance appraisal method is to redo your resume on an annual basis. If it does not look different from last year then you have not been improving. If there are no additional projects or challenges or changes in action verbs then you need to ask yourself “What the hell have I been doing this last year?” And it is best to ask yourself before your boss asks you the same question.
So if you are going to use a resume format then perhaps you need to follow resume advice. Several things in the article stood out to me.
- First, what ACTION WORDS do you use to describe what you do? Do you describe yourself passively? Do others describe you passively? You need to know. And you need to make sure they are strong and action oriented.
- Secondly, how strong do your bullet points look? Are they prioritized? Do the strong ones appear at the top of the list?
- Thirdly, do your achievements meet the CAR test? Are they listed as to the CHALLENGE faced, the ACTION took, and the RESULT achieved? And do you know how the company benefited from your work?
The good thing about looking at your job performance this way is that if you ever need to have a resume you will not have to struggle to put one together. It will be there for you to utilize for whatever reason presents itself.
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