I recently helped someone rewrite his resume to present his education and experience in a better light and figured the advice is generic enough to apply to most people looking for a new opportunity. Here is the summary of the tips I offered. Hope others are able to find this useful advice as well.
When you apply for a job, you need to realize that you are competing in a market place with number of people who are very likely more qualified and experienced than you. Given this reality, you need to do everything in your capacity to shine a bright light on your education and experience without embellishing your resume with false information which will fail close scrutiny.
- Who are you? As in, what differentiates you from your peers and everyone else – something unique about you, your experience, your knowledge that is compelling for them to consider you for employment. Why should the company be interested in talking to you versus scores of others like you?
- If you are a recent student, what have you learnt in college beyond just enumerating of your courses? How did you participate in the course? Were you active or passive? How did you take advantage of what you learnt? How did you contribute to the class?
- If you did projects, not just what you accomplished in the project, but what did you learn as part of doing the project? What was your role in the project? Were you a leader or a follower? Did you bring any unique perspective to the project? How did the project outcome become better due to your contribution? How will you apply this learning to a new project or job?
- If you worked some place (either as an intern or full time employee) what was your contribution and what did you learn in the process? Again not just an enumeration of various projects that you ‘participated’ in, but more importantly what was your contribution? Did you lead any part of the assigned project? What unique perspective did you bring to the project that made it better? How are you going to bring these learning’s to a new job? In what way will you make your new work place better?
- How will you be able to help the organization you are looking to join with this education and experience?