So your resume is looking a little thinner than you’re thinking it should. You are probably struggling with the work history section, wondering how to further expound on the fact that you’ve got only a few positions to work with here.
Maybe it’s because you’ve been at the same job for decades, and listing a previous job in the career section of your resume would be dated back to what you were doing twenty years ago, carrying little comparison to the caliber of work you are doing today. Or, alternatively, maybe you are newer to the job market and have only had your current job for several months. How much of your previous work is worth mentioning? Do your years as a nanny or mowing lawns as a teenager need to count toward your experience?
Before you throw in the towel and start sending out resumes with only a few lines on them, consider these helpful hints that will add strength and confidence to a thinner resume. The folks at LiveCareer have researched this issue and suggest four ways to add substance to your resume.
Look Closely at Your Summary – Your summary should be about 3-4 lines in length, regardless of how much relevant experience you have. If you are a new graduate or younger applicant, without much of a track record, then choose to focus on the future more so than the past. You are ambitious and your future will be bright, even if you haven’t held a professional job yet.
Get detailed with your work history – So, maybe you’ve only held a few professional positions or none at all. Either way can be acceptable as long as you ensure that the following steps are taken.
“If you’ve held only one job for the bulk of your career, then that means your primary employer was pleased with your work and the two of you maintained a lasting and functional relationship. Leverage this fact. Explain how your skills met your employer’s needs, and list each stage of growth and expanding responsibility you attained in this position, including awards and special accomplishments. If you’ve been away from the job market for a long time, turn your gap into a selling feature. Have you organized, sponsored, led, built, coordinated, joined, ran, volunteered, studied, researched, collaborated, wrote, designed, or supported anything. If so, pick the verb that applies, put it on your resume, and explain what you did.”
Move forward to your education section – For those applicants who are new to the professional job search scene, you may be struggling with trying to honestly but impressively describe your education experience. Maybe you haven’t earned a graduate degree, or even a bachelor’s degree for that matter. This doesn’t mean that the educational component of your resume needs to be blank. You should list whatever college level courses you have taken or are currently taking. Also, explain any training you have received that would interest or benefit your potential employer.
Highlight your skills section – If your work history and education portions of the resume are still looking a little thread barren, then you can pick up the slack by bulking up your skills section. “Be very clear about what you can do and will do, even if what you have done isn’t taking up much space on the page. List your programing proficiencies, foreign languages, budgeting skills, scheduling skills, and administrative abilities above all else. These five talents will support success in almost any job, and your potential employers should know about them.”
At the end of the day, if you’re still feeling unsure about the quality of your resume, you’ve still got options. At Platinum Resumes, we are here to help take what you’ve put together and fill in the gaps, to bring a confidence to your resume. Give us a call today at (816) 986-0909!