Thursday, March 05, 2009

Resume tips

I recently was privileged to speak with a controller at a large local non-profit near here, and I have been attending ongoing meetings with my Seattle U mentor, and have gotten a couple of good resume tips that I'd like to share.

If your primary value as an employee is your education, don't just list your degree; also list some of your coursework or activities. Under job experience, don't say that your responsibilities were blah blah, write a couple of "success stories." Under your "Expert in MS Word" list *exactly* what you're an expert in - can you write macros? are you a whiz with Pivot Tables in Excel? Are you good at calendaring appointments or setting up group mailboxes in Outlook? Above all, list only the most important, interesting items to get their interest. A too-full resume is just as off-putting as a thin one.

Both of them agreed that the most important factor to consider is that your resume is probably one of at least 100 sitting on someone desk or in someone's inbox, especially in this economy. Anything you can do to make yourself stand out should be included, such as sports awards, music, whatever makes you unique, you should include in your resume. Your goal is to get the person reviewing resumes to spend more than 20 seconds scrolling up and down your resume and actually hook them enough to want to give you a ten minute callback, and then hopefully an interview.