Q. I wrote my resume and listed every role I have had over the past five years. I think I did an okay job explaining what I do. My work is not that exciting. But my friends and family tell me that I am not giving myself enough credit and I should have more pride in myself. Are they just biased and think I am better than I really am? Will I end up sounding ridiculous if I boast about myself? How can I tell?
A. You have made the right move in asking Robin’s Resumes®. Friends and family mean well, but they do not have the professional background to know what hiring managers and recruiters are looking for, and they can be biased. You need an objective review from a certified resume expert.
One basic way to evaluate your resume by yourself is to ask: “Does this resume make me proud? Does this resume make me feel competent and as if I accomplished something in my work life? When I read it, do I feel that I have a lot to give to a company?” If instead, you feel bored, diminished, and frustrated by your resume, you need to revise.
It sounds like your resume fails that test. In your question, you say, “My work is not that exciting.” If you are not excited about what you do and what you offer, why should hiring managers and recruiters be excited to hire you?
Your resume will make you proud if you:
- Stress accomplishments rather than job duties or responsibilities. Hiring managers and recruiters generally understand what a candidate does—they want to know what the candidate brings to the job. However, if a job announcement has keywords that are job duties or responsibilities, include them by stating accomplishments that use the keywords (see below).
- Look for the differentiators, those things that make you stand out from the other candidates. No one else has had your exact career trajectory. No one else has accomplished what you accomplished. No one else has worked in a team of exactly that size or on exactly that project. Specific numbers, results, customers, locations, budgets, and schedules show the difference.
- Know what you want. Every word in your resume should bring you closer to your ideal job.
- Use keywords. Examine job postings and advertisements to find the words that hiring managers and recruiters use most often to describe the position you are seeking. Those keywords should appear organically in your resume as you demonstrate that you meet the criteria.
- Choose a consistent, professional, clean design. You want the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to pick your resume out of all the resumes that will flow through it, and you want hiring managers and recruiters to see your value immediately. Make your resume look as good as it sounds.
When you dress up for a special occasion, you are still you, just a happier and more put-together version. You are not boasting when you look your best. A resume does the same for your work life: it presents the best of your career. When your resume makes you proud of your experience, education, and accomplishments, it will attract attention from hiring managers and recruiters. If you are still concerned, reach out to Robin’s Resumes®. We improve resumes like yours every day.