Have you ever asked yourself what you would need to include in your resume to present yourself to potential clients and employers? You know this document makes a difference in whether you receive that long-awaited opportunity, but where do you start? A resume is not something that most of us write every day. Yet we should be familiar with some fundamentals for when we are called to action.
Let’s meet Lisa. Lisa is a learning and development manager who is interested in a position where she can be more involved in a business’s strategic planning. Like many other learning and development professionals, she thought she was off to a good start after visiting a few websites that offer career guidance. She soon found out otherwise.
Lisa started by listing her employment history, beginning with her current position and working backwards to her first position as training clerk. She had a long professional track record to present and ended up with more than 20 years of experience to write about.
Then she started listing her duties and responsibilities, her degrees and certifications (including dates), and every professional development activity, certification, recognition, and publication that she could remember. Lisa had read somewhere that she should include as much information as possible so that whoever received the resume could pick and choose what was relevant for the position. To her, that meant everything she had ever done needed to be included in the resume.
“A five-page document is better than a three-page document,” she thought. Then, soon after, she connected with Maggie (a training and development professional herself, an SME in career and succession planning, and a professional resume writer) at a local ATD chapter meeting. Maggie offered to review Lisa’s resume and give her feedback from another perspective. They agreed to meet to discuss Lisa’s resume later that week. Lisa expected to receive a glowing review of her document. Instead, she received a very constructive critique focused on the following key points:
Remember: Your resume is what opens the door for you. Your experience will allow you to enter and your interview will give you the opportunity to stay.