A good resume is like your best set of clothes. It should make you look good (and feel good). Never lie on your resume. Never. But make sure you come across dressed in your best.
For example, let’s say you’re just starting out in your career and have no experience in your chosen field. You may want to reverse the usual order in resumes and put your education first. Your education tells more about your abilities than your last part-time job at a summer camp. After your education, list your jobs and volunteer work, even if they aren’t in your field. Work experience is always valuable.
Now let’s say you’ve worked for many years but hopped around a bit. Begin detailing your employment history with a section called “relevant experience,” where you list only the experience that directly relates to the job you want. After that section, list all your jobs so that it’s clear you’ve worked continuously.
Perhaps you have 30 years of experience and are afraid of age discrimination. By law you are not obliged to volunteer information about your age. So don’t include the date you graduated from college and only give your most recent 15-20 years of experience. In any case, those early jobs are probably without value in today’s marketplace.
If you’re returning to the job market after a long gap, make sure you stress your volunteer work. Did you run a capital campaign, keep the books for a charity, head up a nonprofit’s board or train other volunteers? Your experience as a leader or on a team will appeal to potential employers.
Using these techniques can be tricky. If you have a special situation and aren’t sure how to handle it in a resume, contact me by phone or email. I’ll apply my resume writing expertise to bringing out your best.
Then with your resume spruced up, you’re ready to interview with future employers—top hat and all!