So what do you do? Of course you could hire someone to write it for you, but you’ll still need something to start with. Here’s some help:
- Schedule a day to write: Plan nothing else that day, so you’ll have time to procrastinate, and still get the job done. Choose someplace quiet – get a babysitter if you have to and go someplace else. Exercise first, to get the blood flowing, and the endorphins humming. And have a fresh pot of coffee. If you don’t have a laptop, arrange out of house activities for the kids, so you’ll have the house to yourself.
- Use a template to start: There are resume templates everywhere, from the major job boards to alumni sites, or just Google resume template. Don’t sweat it which template to use. This will be a draft, and you’ll change it many times.
- It’s not final: Don’t try to write a final copy when you are starting. Your resume is an iterative process. Even for a draft, you’ll want to have a process of writing then reviewing….a few times. You’re bound to find things to change for at least 3 review, minimum.
- Take a break: After you’ve done a first draft, take a break. Go for a walk, or a run, or just get away from your resume. Take an hour, clear your head, and come back fresh to do a critical read and edit.
- Have others review: It’s next to impossible to write a good resume without a third party reviewer. The reviewer will read it from a readers’ perspective, a difficult viewpoint for the subject of the resume…you.
- Don’t worry about conflicting information: Plan on it, you’ll get conflicting advice – it’s going to happen. When you get conflicting information on your resume, I suggest you thank the person for their input, and make your choice of who’s advice makes sense for you. After all, it’s your resume at the end of the day.
- Spelling, grammar, format, tabs, margins, fonts all matter: You only get two chances to be perfect in your life – when you’re born, and on your resume. You’ll be competing with hundreds, or thousands of other applicants for a single opening. Why would a HR reviewer or hiring manager choose an imperfect resume, when they see almost limitless numbers of perfect ones?
- Don’t settle: Don’t settle for ok, good, or good enough for your resume. With the amount of competition you’ll face, your resume has to be stellar, exemplary….because your competition is. Hiring managers see only the top 2-3 % of resumes. So good enough just isn’t good enough anymore.
- Stop procrastinating: I know you dread this…everyone does. I feel your pain. Now gut up and start.
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