By definition, a resume is a summary or brief account of someone’s qualifications and experience. While that may be the technical explanation, a resume is really much more than that. It is a document that allows you to tell your story. It’s a chance to sell yourself and your credentials, a personal brochure built to help you go after something that you want.

Instead of looking at the resume creation and update process as a chore, think of it as your chance to distinguish yourself from other candidates. To maximize your chances of success, include (and avoid) some key elements For example:

Include: Highlights
Anything of significance that you’ve achieved, especially if it pertains to the position you’re going after, should be included. If you ran point on a huge project or landed an important client for your company, say so. The person interviewing you will see that and may want you to expand upon it, giving you a chance to explain your involvement and tie it back to the role you’re going after.

Include: Facts & Figures
These can vary by what types of roles you held in the past, or are going after. In general, though, project and budgetary management and sales figures are always good to include. Other metrics you may want to consider: for sales jobs, annual/new clients/renewals/average deal size; for marketing roles, traffic generated/advertising budget managed; for operations, event attendance/scope.

Include: Targeted Details
Update your resume regularly based on the type of position you’re going after. For example, if the role you’re going for is heavy on planning/logistics, be sure to highlight and elaborate on your experiences in that area on your resume. That may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised.

Avoid: Rambling
Include only important information. A few of sentences and bullet points are typically all that is needed for each job.

Avoid: Unexplained Large Gaps
If you took two years off from work to go back to school or for another reason, include that information so your potential employer(s) see that you’ve remained focused on professional development. If your resume shows a gap that occurred for a more personal reason, you don’t need to go into detail on your resume (but be prepared to explain the gap in an interview).

Avoid: Typos
Again, sounds like common sense, right? But it bears repeating: review EVERYTHING on your resume in detail, on a regular basis (and make sure you’re prepared to discuss each element in person if necessary).

What did we miss? Let us know your resume tips and tricks!

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