“What are the easiest and quickest changes I can make to my resume?”

I’m often asked this question by the moms I meet who are looking to make a career change, but have very little time.  (Looking for a new job is like a nine-to-five job in itself!)  Here are some basic guidelines I recommend for creating a savvy resume.

Magic Five Resume Boosters:  

1. Write a compelling Profile statement:

  • A 2-5 sentence description of what you offer to potential employers.  This is your personal brand and your opportunity to market yourself right off the top.  Draw the reader in!  As an example, here’s mine…

An engaging and inspiring Fitness & Career expert with a background in Personal Training, Group Exercise Instruction, Human Resources and Recruitment. I am known as a caring, encouraging and enthusiastic coach who shares my passion and knowledge to help others live healthy and fulfilling lives.

2. Optimize Keywords:

  • Most keywords are nouns (the what) – we’re used to emphasizing verbs (action words) in our resumes and that still holds true.  But for job specific keywords, we need to focus on the “what” you did.  (e.g., I coached direct reports to earn promotions).  Direct reports is the keyword, demonstrating that you’ve managed a team.
  • When you’re writing your resume for a specific job you want to ensure that you are picking out keywords from the job ad and including those (provided you have them) on your resume.

3. Demonstrate your Accomplishments:

  • Tell the recruiter less about your job responsibilities and duties and more about what you’ve actually accomplished in each role.
  • Quantify as much as possible – e.g. increased sales by 25%, improved productivity by 75%, etc.

4. Don’t be modest:

  • It is hard to write about yourself – we are modest people.  But your resume needs to highlight how fabulous you are, so don’t be shy.
  • Ask your partner, friends or family members for what they believe are your best skills and see if you can weave those into your career accomplishments.
  • Think about what great feedback your managers, team members or clients have given you and use their words in your resume bullets. E.g. Improved client relations, receiving feedback that “Krista is the best account manager we’ve ever had.”

5. Show a bit of your softer side:

  • Recruiters and hiring managers receive hundreds of applications for one vacancy.  Letting personality shine through may be just the edge you need to get called for an interview.
  • Showcase your soft skills in your Profile Statement.
  • At the bottom, include “Personal Accomplishments & Interests” noting any awards, volunteer work, sporting or fitness pursuits, travel, unique hobbies, etc.