Sure You Want To Upgrade Your Resume?

Resumes are overrated.

handwrittenresume “Can you review my resume” is the first question most people ask me when they find out I’m a career adviser. They waste the chance to develop new strategies for connecting with employers and others in their career field.

Too often job seekers think a few tweaks on a piece of paper are the only things keeping them from being hired.

Most job seekers get more results focusing on building relationships within their professional community (um, isn’t that networking?), than spending hours editing their resumes.

Your resume is an important part of your job search toolkit — it’s just not the only, or the most important part.

  • If you only spend 10 minutes today on your job search, use it calling or e-mailing at least three networking contacts.
  • If you have another five minutes, send strategic LinkedIn invitations to new contacts.

Still want to work on your resume? Fine.

Here are a few tips:

Add a “personal statement” to your resume.
This is different from an “objective” which is narrowly focused and self-centered. A professional statement is a one or two sentence summary of your career identity, the audience/industry you serve, and what you bring to an employer.

Highlight projects, not just positions.
Use your resume to show the projects you worked on, especially those where you had leadership or creative roles. Your resume should not be a rehash of your job duties, it should highlight your accomplishments.

Include your community involvement.
Add any volunteer positions, professional organization activities, or anything else that shows your dedication to your chosen industry and the communities you identify with. List any position, paid or unpaid, where you gained skills and experiences that will make you a better employee.

Will those ideas help you to upgrade your resume? What other tips do you have for job seekers?

Also from DeniseMpls:

Interview: Why I Do What I Do

Like many people, the career area I’m in now is completely different from the career I started.

I started in journalism and media; now I’m a career adviser. Because the two career areas seem completely unrelated, people often ask me how I got here from where I was.

Denise-HERD2010-2Here is an interview I gave to Media Shower about my transition into career advising, and why helping people find meaningful careers is so important to me.

I appreciate Sam Jordan’s funny and interesting questions. I usually don’t talk about my (distant) connections to Prince or Donny Osmond.

Sam also got me to talk seriously about how the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed my life – a difficult time to think about.

We also discussed the Minneapolis job market. I gave an honest answer and talked about Minnesota’s racial economic disparities.

The many, complicated reasons why people of color are not being hired into or retaining good-paying, career-advancing jobs is a serious issue that affects our entire economy.

In addition to helping job seekers to make positive decisions that affect their lives and careers, I intend to examine and write about some of the larger issues affecting the employment and education of everyday people.

You can find a bit more about where I’m coming from in the interview 10,000 Hours in 10 minutes: Denise Felder on Career Coaching.

Keep looking up.

Free Job Search Help April 9-10

Job Seekers: Come to the Career Services Center Tuesday and enter to win a Kindle Fire


Career Services Center – April 9 & 10, 2013
Career Fair - April 10, 2013

WHERE: Minneapolis Convention Center

WHAT: Receive free one-on-one coaching to prepare for the Career Fair and/or job interviews. Special training for veterans will also be offered.

Career services including:mcf-logo

  • Résumé Clinic
  • Interview Clinic
  • Elevator Pitch Practice
  • Job Search Clinic
  • Veteran’s Career Transition

WHO: Job seekers with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, college students and veterans


Also from DeniseMpls: