Building a killer resume for your dream job
The current job market is a story of two halves. In the tech sector, layoffs are accelerating as CEOs get pushed to showcase more profitability . On the other hand, sectors such as manufacturing, trades and services have labour shortages as people move around for better opportunities. Both halves still need resumes to get in through the front door.
I first learned about resume writing when I went to Ivey Business School for my MBA, and my resume became a lot better by following specific tips shared by their career office. Thank you Ivey ♥️
I shared the same tips with my friends to help them land better jobs, making tweaks by learning from each conversation.
The tweaks & tips became a Google Doc, that has now helped hundreds of people find jobs after layoffs, negotiate better, and eventually became a framework that anyone can follow to increase their chances of finding their dream job.
Since many of you are dusting off old resumes, I thought I’d share some of the top tips and guidelines to help you position your skills & experiences.
A good resume has well structured content including specific experience organized to match each bullet point of the job description
Let me show you how.
📃Structure & Format
- 1-2 pages max - the era of 3 page resumes is over. Keep it simple, keep it focused, and keep it concise
- If you are looking for your first job, put your education at the top. If you are a seasoned professional, put it at the bottom
- Use bolding to highlight key roles and numbers
- If you worked somewhere for multiple years, split your bullets into distinct projects / themes (e.g. if you were a customer service agent, and then moved into marketing support, represent that as two sections)
🚘 Follow The Car Principle
- Make sure every bullet follows the CAR (Context-Action-Result) principle
- Context is the background to your project or achievement
- Action is what you did to improve or complete something
- Result is the quantifiable impact you had due to your actions
- Bad CAR style bullet point -> Database migration from Vendor R10.2.1 to v Vendor 10.2.2 including testing 🤷♂️
- Good CAR style bullet point -> Brought in by client for high priority system upgrade. Led migration from Vendor R10.2.1 to 10.2.2 and achieved 100% test accuracy two weeks ahead of schedule 🎉
1️⃣ Write One Bullet Per Skill
- Each line or bullet of your resume should look to showcase a unique skill (e.g., leadership, analytics, modelling)
- Example - Public Speaking and Analysis: Analyzed Linux OS server options and presented to management to show better developer productivity of 15% ; secured approval for plan and delivered production ready AIX server infrastructure in less than 4 months
- Example - Project Execution: Worked as part of a global team to relocate server infrastructure to a third-party vendor, resolved challenges and closed all Tier 1-3 issues within 2 weeks of migration.
🏁 Align your Resume to the Job Description
💡 Applying to 50-100 jobs with a tailored resume per job has greater chances of converting to an interview than mass emailing
- Each line of your resume should align to the required skills and responsibilities in the job description
- Make sure you do a scan through of your bullet points to check that the majority of skills and responsibilities required for the job are highlighted in your resume
🎦 If Relevant, Include a Portfolio
- Include a portfolio if relevant to showcase real life examples of your previous work
- For design roles, include your media portfolio / website
- For software roles, include your Github
If you include all the above tips, I'm sure you will land a great job. All the best.