There are many reasons why we may, at some point in our lives, need to take a long layoff from work. In some cases, we may actually have to leave our jobs in order to attend to more pressing matters. Needless to say, our health should always come first. So when battling an illness or injury that requires a long recovery period, it can be difficult trying to get assimilated with a professional working environment again.
Not only may we have distanced ourselves from lifestyles that involve daily work schedules, but we may have also forgotten what it takes to complete adequate résumés. It’s hard to imagine yourself starting from scratch, isn’t it? But, believe it or not, many people have to begin their careers all over again after unexpected occurrences take place in their lives. This can actually be a good thing. But it takes a good résumé to get you started! Here are six steps to writing the perfect one.
1. Tailor it to the specific position you’re applying for. On BusinessInsider.com, Vivian Giang and Melissa Stanger write that a generic résumé won’t generally do the trick. It’s important to “mold the information to reflect what your potential employer is looking for in an ideal job candidate.” Naturally, you may have to make revisions to your résumé depending on the different industries within which you may be applying.
2. Include professional modes of contact. It’s important to remember the fact that you are looking to an impress an employer. Providing e-mail addresses and phone numbers may seem like the easy part. But as Barbara Safani points out on Aol.com, if your email address doesn’t reflect a sense of professionalism (email@example.com is her example) and your outgoing voicemail message is done in a “goofy voice”, it will “encourage recruiters to walk away.”
3. The length of your résumé should reflect years of experience. Giang and Stanger remind us that, although you may be proud of your various accomplishments, they may not all be relevant to your potential employers. “Cut it down,” they insist, noting that if you’re in your twenties, a one-page résumé will suffice. However, those with more than ten years of experience can feel free to add second pages.
4. Use strong language. Now, of course, we’re not referring to using any inappropriate terms to describe yourself. Instead, you should try to make use of words that connote a great sense of confidence and strength. “Refrain from using subjective words like ‘loyal’ or ‘trustworthy’ to explain your candidacy,” advises Safani, “Omit phrases such as ‘responsible for’ or ‘duties included’ from your résumé; opt for stronger language such as ‘managed’ or ‘oversaw.’”
5. Use plenty of white space to draw the reader’s eye to specific items. An abundance of information can be distracting. Giang and Stanger point out that a résumé that is pleasing to the eye can be a lot more effective than one that is crammed with information. Sometimes, keeping it concise is key. Focus on the most relevant points of your job history and experience so that they are seen as highlighted reasons to hire you.
6. Explain your layoff. This may be a tip that most people wouldn’t consider. Especially if you’re seeking employment after a long layoff, it may be important to explain why. “If you left the workplace to take care of a child or aging parent, explain that right on the résumé,” insists Safani, “Don’t make the reader guess what you were doing during that gap. Their assumptions will rarely work in your favour.”
At Independence Incorporated, we proudly offer Resume Preparation services. For more information, call us at 204-478-6644.