One of my passions is editing resumes. Recruiters look at Resumes very quickly, so we want to make sure resumes are:
- Easy to read - Ex. Font greater than 9 or 10 points
- Concise - Remove filler words and create strong sentences
- Informative - Easy to locate your name, current position, dates, education
When I am working with someone to edit their resume it feels like I am painting, repairing, and remodeling to create a more beautiful YOU (on paper).
Editing a resume is typically not considered “Before and After” eye candy (Where is the HGTV Show called “Flipping your Resume”?) But hopefully I can make Jessica’s Before and After resume just as inspiring as this beautiful kitchen remodel by “The Inspired Room”.
Just like a home remodel we need to make some resume features stand out and help other fixtures anchor the resume’s foundation. Here are some steps we took to revamp Jessica’s resume.
- First we need to make it easier to find her name, phone number, and email. Basically, make it really easy for people to contact you.
- Increase the font from 11 points…. to…. 12, 14, and 21 points.
- Make each section header stand out (Education, Experience, Summary, etc…).
- Relocate the GPA and work dates so they are prominent features.
- Reconfigure the work related educational experience.
Here is the overall view so you can get the “big” picture and visually see the impact these changes made to her resume.
The biggest part of this remodel project, which gave her the “Best Bang for the Buck”, was reorganizing the Experience section to include all her great research background. In the BEFORE resume her Education section is extensive, but underneath that heading she had included research and work related experience. This needed to be remodeled.
After finishing up the demo work and rebuilding the resume structure, we are now going to give this remodeled resume a strong polished finish.
- Create a strong summary or objective.
- Re-craft each sentence. Remove filler words and add strong action verbs.
The BEFORE resume had a Profile section with basic bullet points detailing her skills, but it didn’t give recruiters information about her background and what positions she would match. In the AFTER resume we crafted stronger sentences to sell her skills and let the recruiters know that she is an Environmental Scientist with research, fieldwork, and laboratory experience.
As we discussed above, the GPA is now easier to find, Education is separated from the Honors and Activities, and extra words have been removed. Word in this section such as: Member, “and” (located in between dates), “in” are filler words that create clutter. I like to imagine myself clutter clearing as I shorten up sentences and make them fit on one line.
This is the most critical recent job experience for this individual (below) so we really want to make each bullet point count. In addition, we want to watch how we use different verb tenses. If the position is in the past and no longer a current position we need to use past tense. If the position is your current active position it is better to use present tense.
Overall the goal here is to rework sentences and remove filler words like:
“Wrote a report on the patterns in zooplankton abundance in Chesapeake Bay in the years 205-08 and 2010” Remodeled to look like…
“Wrote zooplankton abundance patterns in the Chesapeake Bay research report”.
We don’t need to include as many specific dates. During the interview that is where you can expand and include more details regarding your report.
Again we are strengthening more sentences by removing: in the, of, a, on the, the, etc...
This remodeled sentence shows how you can present your work in two different lights.
“Used the data collected… to present a poster…” or…
“Developed poster presentation based on data collected…”
Try to start each bullet point with the strongest possible action verb that accurately reflects your experience.
Hopefully this resume remodel inspired you and showed you what is possible with your own resume. As I mentioned, I am really passionate about helping others with their resumes.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in having me review, edit, and remodel your resume. Thank you!
PS – This is a real resume and the job experience is accurate; however, all personal identifying information has been changed or removed. If you are interested in connecting with this individual for a potential opportunity please let me know.