Frugal Beautiful

Smart Career Women: Dust Off Your Résumé

Posted on: March 2, 2011

Career Building for Women


Our résumé is that notorious little piece of paper that often gets neglected and put off until we start searching for new job- but don’t wait for opportunity to find you, be ready with a slammin’ résumé!

Leaving your résumé to collect dust in your desk or in the realm of obscurity in the depths of your hard drive might be leaving opportunity on the table.  Many of us approach our résumé with reticence- we only want to face it when we want to apply for a job.  It almost seems counter-intuitive for those of us who want better careers and a more rewarding job to sit around and wait for opportunity to find us- so right now, go pull up your résumé or any other documents you might use, and print it out.  If you don’t have one- make one.

Being proactive with your career and aware of your skills (and where they need improvement) will lead to opporuntity.  Simply being ready for opportunity will bring it closer towards you.


Formatting: You can find templates online or use one of my favorite websites to build it-  Depending on your career goals, include them in your search.  Formatting a résumé for graduate school applications is totally different than applying for a job in finance!

Tailoring: If you’re “not sure what you want to do,” or what your résumé will be used for in the future- that’s fine!  You need to start or update your résumé so that you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.  Scrambling to write a résumé when you have a job offer fall in your lap could reduce the efficacy of your application.  Start with a solid foundational résumé and leave room to take out or highlight different experiences and skills depending on the application.

Proofing: Get a fresh set of eyes and have a friend or mentor look it over- this is key!  It might be hard to accept feedback on this- but don’t take it personally.  This is all about presentation- an employer will probably spend a minute or less reading this over, it needs to ROCK and do so quickly@   You may be really proud of your volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity, college G.P.A. or a special honor- but if it distracts or detracts from your tailored, marketable skills for your industry that employers are highly discriminate over- it might be best to take it off without getting offensive.

Be sure to choose the right proofreaders though- it might be tempting to have your best friend take a gander at it, but find someone who can offer you poignant, constructive criticism- because your potential employer won’t be kind

Additions: I recently graduated at the top of my class with a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies.  Employers thought that was great, but could I format a document?  Did I know how to use Excel or Photoshop?  Do not underestimate the importance of simple skills around the office coupled with computer expertise or think that simply having a degree/job experience will be enough to make you competitive.   In my experience, I found that a lot of employers wanted computer skills most of us don’t get in college.  Look at your résumé and find holes in your skill sets- you can identify this by doing a job search online and gauging what potential employers in your field are looking for in addition to degrees or job experience.


Articles on Résumé Building:

10 Tips to a Kick Ass Resume @Bargaineering

10 Overused Resume Buzzwords to Avoid @LinkedIn Blog

How to Write a Resume @WiseBread



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