How to Write Your Most Effective Resume

Posted by Rob Riggins

Our top 10 list of things you must do to write a resume that sells you.

Your cleared resume is an advertisement, not your biography. The goal of your resume is to get a hiring manager or recruiter to contact you for an interview. It should only include details that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, or if it’s a networking or general resume, the direction you want to take your career. Recruiters initially do a quick scan of your resume to see if it merits a deeper dive. Grab their attention quickly by implementing these tactics:

1. The top of your resume is critical and should include:

Your name, city and state (street address isn’t necessary), one contact email, one phone number, and your security clearance.

2. Immediately following should be a quick, concise summary

Your summary is what you offer of value to the specific targeted employer. Include two to three lines of crisp, clean, jargon-free critical experience and relevant attributes such as certifications. If you reference technical skills, include the number of years’ experience with them.

3. Focus on Accomplishment Statements, not lists of responsibilities

For most cleared job seekers and transitioning military, this is the most important improvement you can make to your resume. Make your accomplishments relevant to your target.

4. Use this formula to develop your Accomplishment Statements:

Situation, Task, Action, Result. Demonstrate your growth and tailor what you‘ve accomplished to the position you’re applying for. For example:

• Assumed management of a failing contract. Within 90 days built effective customer relationships, improved critical metrics, closed all overdue items, and led the team to a successful contract re-award.

5. Keep your resume design simple and clean

Your resume doesn’t need to stand out in a pile of resumes, because it will be scanned, even if you’re handing it to an employer at a job fair. Use a simple font, and avoid heavy paper, colors, shading, graphics, overbolding and tiny type.

6. One to two pages is the ideal length

Delete all information that does not directly support your value. Cut down on older jobs, especially if they’re more than 10 years old. Don’t waste space on education or training that is irrelevant — this is a common mistake that transitioning military make.

The exception to this two-page rule is if the job posting specifically asks for 15 years or more experience. And that’s rare. If you have many years’ experience, keeping your resume to a shorter length helps you focus on including relevant information vs biographical details.

7. Keep operational security in mind

The resume you upload to ClearedJobs.Net or that you share at a Cleared Job Fair® should include your security clearance. Only cleared facilities employers have access to the ClearedJobs.Net resume database or may exhibit at a Cleared Job Fair. No version of your resume should include classified project names, the names of colleagues, office size or budget. Your LinkedIn profile should not include your security clearance – some cleared contractors will immediately disqualify you from consideration if they see this.

8. Don’t share information in a way that may age you

Whether legal or not, there is definite age bias that impacts employment. Help yourself by avoiding these:

• Lengthy work experience statements such as “32 years experience”. That may imply, “I’m expensive, I’ve seen it all, I know it all, I’m inflexible.”  Very, very few jobs require more than 10 years’ experience.

• The year you graduated from college. The relevant detail is that you graduated, not when.

9. Be sure you’ve left these off your resume:

Social security number, marital status, number of dependents, health details, hobbies, height, weight, or other personal details.

10. Make sure to proofread and review

Your resume often serves as your first impression to potential employers. It’s vital that you proofread your resume and guarantee it’s error free. Read it out loud to slow you down and catch any mistakes that spell check might have missed and always have someone else review it too.

“Keep subjective self-descriptions out of your summary section. I’m looking at you, Results-Oriented Team Players.”

– Bill Branstetter, ASG


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 3:32 pm

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