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Focus on Your Skills

Rewriting your resume.

With unemployment at an extremely high level in the US right now, just about 21 million people who have filed, it's likely that a lot of us are reworking our resumes. Resumes, like the space after a period, have changed with the times. It's no longer a cut and dry type of situation, there are if, and buts. Likely you're confused, if you're working through this, so let me offer a few pearls for your toolbox.

First of all, let's identify your field of work. What do you want to do? What are you good at? With our behaviors changing for at least this moment, on what we do, and how often we go out, you may be looking to get into a new career field. Write about that. Summarize it in a few sentences below your name and contact info.

A huge pet peeve from reading numerous resumes everyday - don't write about yourself in first person! When you summarize this info, say something like: Committed to the best customer service experience every single time, with a work ethic that would rather crawl in then call in.

After your summary - let's switch things up, and put your skills section here! While education is important to keep somewhere on here, traditional education may not be as important has you've been told in the past (unless of course it's a degreed field, like a nurse or a chemical engineer.) Your skills can tell about what job you'd bring success to. If you've been in food service, then you have great attention to detail with following all the health department guidelines. If you've been a waitress, then you'd have great sales experience. See where I'm going with this. Don't sell yourself short here, this is the place that you need to claim your skills and really brag on yourself. Put 3-7 (ish) skills down that really show off who you are, this will help eliminate extra verbiage in your experience section, which should come next.

Go ahead and put down the jobs you've had in the last decade or so. No need to go back to the history books to find this info, just the most recent ones, or the ones that show your experience in the field you're applying to. Job title should come first, then company, and then month and year of beginning and end of employment. A few, very succinct tasks are appropriate.

Next is education, include certifications and other skilled training that you've had. Include higher education even if you didn't receive your degree!

I'd be a fool not to mention your cover letter. This is your time to shine! Talk about any issues people may have had with your resume, gaps in employment, or perhaps why you would kill it at this new career field. Address it specifically to each job, yes you hear me right! Edit your cover letter for each job! It will really put you ahead of the crowd.

As always, I'm here for questions or editing help. Best of luck my friends, Liz (lleaming@goponca.com)