Five Things Your Résumé Should Say About You


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What does your résumé say about you? Does it speak about your drive and ambition? Does it showcase your areas of expertise? Or does it scream, "I work for food. Please hire me!"

Here are a few tips on what to mention in your résumé that conveys the value you would bring to a position--and not just that you're looking for a job.

#1 Where You're Headed

Your positioning statement (or summary paragraph) should include your areas of expertise, the number of years of experience, and how you contribute in your work.

TIP: If you are applying for several different types of positions, make sure you create different versions of this positioning statement. 

#2 What You're Great At

Your "competencies" section should list the skills and areas of proficiency you can bring to your next role. List your professional skills that are in line with the position for which you're applying, and that are relevant to the experience you've listed in your résumé. 

TIP: Take a look at the job responsibilities of a position to get a sense of the type of skills you should be highlighting in this section.  

#3 What You've Accomplished

Follow each position that you list with a bullet list of quantifiable ways you made the company/unit/department/office successful, improved the work environment, and/or changed the way your team performs for the better. 

TIP: Whenever possible use actual numbers! “Managed a budget of $5,000” tells an employer a lot more than “Managed the unit’s budget” 

#4 What You're Passionate about

The "additional experience" section should showcase the ways you prefer to make positive impacts in your community and/or your professional industry. Describe the volunteer roles and responsibilities that have sharpened your professional skills and led you to acquire new ones. 

TIP: Include things like: involvement in a student organization, volunteering with local organizations, mentoring/advising a student/group. The key here is to think of skills you have gained that are transferable to the position.  

#5 What You're about

Overall, your résumé should thread together complementing roles, skills, and accomplishments that qualify you for your next step in your career path. Don't waste your (or the employer's) time reviewing duties and responsibilities that distract from or simply are not relevant to your professional goals and how they relate to the job you're applying for. 

TIP: Tailor, tailor, tailor!! Your résumé should reflect the set of skills/experiences that qualify you for a specific position. Take the time to tailor your résumé to the different types of positions you are looking to apply for.

BONUS: You Know What’s Important

Now that your résumé describes you at your best, ensure that it makes that great first impression you’re going for. Solicit constructive feedback from seasoned professionals. The Placement Exchange offers a free Résumé Review service to candidates who are registered for TPE Onsite 2017. You can submit your materials starting December 5, 2016. The last day to submit your information for review is February 6, 2017. Learn more.

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