Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A#1: The Brilliant Hint You Need to Know to Write the Best Resume Ever.

I keep stats. Not on sports or on running times or even on money in my budget. I keep stats in jobs. So far, I'm six-for-six. That is, six interviews for six job offers.

And I majored in French.

So how does one land six jobs--some lame, some awesome--with a dead-end major ("merde!") and no real work experience?

It's all about how you sell yourself both on paper and face-to-face. In this blog series, we're going to talk about the three ways to sell yourself:

A#1: The Resume
B#2: The Cover Letter
C#3: The Interview

For today, let's talk about the resume:

Google will provide you plenty of sources on how to write a great resume. But the truth is, it's common sense, and common sense follows these five simple steps (Don't worry, I'll get to the brilliant hint!):

1. Formatting:
  • Do keep it simple. Simple. Simple. 
  • Do pick a template that is sleek, clean, and readable. 
  • Do use bold sparingly. 
  • Don't clutter the page with words.
  • Don't leave too much white space. 
  • Don't get crazy with the font sizes.
2. Length:
  • Do keep it 1-2 pages.
  • Don't go over 2 pages (A CV, on the other hand, can be longer).
3. Content:
  • Do put your professional experience first, starting with the most recent. 
  • Do include your educational experience (if you're graduating from college, you can delete all your high school info).
  • Do give quantifiable tasks and accomplishments ("increased sales by 15% in 2010").
  • Do list tasks according to their significance.
  • Do include buzz words found on the job posting (this will help software pick you out as a good candidate).
  • Don't use fluffy language ("growth marked by equitable increases in efficiency during leadership substance experiment").
  • Don't use the first person (I, me).
  • Don't use complete sentences.
  • Don't list your GPA unless it's worth bragging about (generally about 3.5+ offense).
4. Sections:
  • Do give a "professional summary" at the beginning.
  • Do list work experience, education, community activities, and skills that increase your marketability for the job.
  • Don't include high school stuff (unless you're applying to college).
  • Don't include skills/jobs that are irrelevant to the tasks of the new job.

5. Before you hit Send:

  • Do send your resume to for a thorough edit and proofread :)
  • Do print it on stiff paper for impact (if submitting in person).
  • Don't let your dog eat your only copy.

And there you have it. By heeding these five steps, you're on your way to a successful interview process. How do I know? Because I'm six-for-six. Because I've been that person reading your resume and deciding whether or not to hire you. And because I've helped countless others land jobs after a resume renovation as well.

BRILLIANT HINT: Put yourself in the shoes of the employer when designing your resume. What would you want to see if you were the one hiring? How would you interpret the resume? Is it easy to read on a smart phone/tablet? Be as harsh as this guy would be:

The more critical you are of yourself, the less critical your boss can be. By anticipating your employer's expectations, you'll be one step closer to being a good fit for your new boss.

BONUS BRILLIANT HINT: I offer full resume/cover letter/interview prep work at Liz McLane Editing. Just shoot me an email ( or catch me on FB for more information!)

Coming up next week: B#2: A Cover Letter this Delicious? It Can't Be True!

Stay tuned!

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