Your Resume is BAD! 7 Ways to Spruce it Up

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on January 26, 2016

Resumes are an individual’s employment narrative. In theory, it should encapsulate all of the skills, experience, training, and successes you have had during your employment history. Unfortunately, it often becomes a list of places and dates, which don’t really grab an employer’s attention, like you know a face to face interview could and would. The catch 22? You need a facilities management resume to get the interview. So, how do you make sure your narrative is engaging, professional, and complete enough to in front of the hiring manager? Here are seven essential fix-its to improve your resume.

Professionalism is Key

If nothing else, make sure your resume looks, sounds, and exudes a professional feel. Even down to the paper you’re using for iStock_000016656274_Large.jpgprinted copies, the eye test will be the first roadblock for your resume. Review your references and make sure these are people who will represent you well, if and when they are called upon. Then, consider some details, such as your e-mail address, lists of skills and abilities and past experiences. Maybe [email protected] is a little outdated, or your stellar career at Putt-n-Bowl during the summer between 11th and 12th grade isn’t as glorious as you remember and might need to be amended or excluded. Remember, you’re trying to show off how you will be the best fit, which brings us to our next point.

Format to Catch the Reader’s Eye

When putting your resume together, look at how it appears on paper or in a document file. Can the employer quickly find your name and contact information? Are your skills clearly displayed and bullet-pointed to make them stand out? And spend some time making sure the structure of your resume flows and moves from one highlight to another. It should be clear, but not too wordy or cluttered; leave some spaces to draw attention to the details. It should be a compelling read for those looking over the document.

Tailor to the Job You’re Applying For

You are an outstanding worker and you are able to work in a wide range of jobs. This experience and the related skill sets can be valuable, but if you are applying for a position in a manufacturing firm, it might not be as applicable to talk about your experience in childcare. Focus on how your skills and experience will best translate to the position you’re seeking.

Tell Why You’re the Best Candidate for the Job

Often, this is referred to as the objective and should clearly and succinctly explain why your combined history, skills, and personality make you such a great choice. A positive tone and relative job information should guide your writing and show what awards for service or job ability you’ve received over the years. But don’t write to sound like you’re bragging. Confidence with humility shows you are ready to handle the work without trying to make it all about you.

Seek out a Professional in the Field

It is wise to seek out a professional within or connected to the business field you’re applying for. Ask them to look over your latest version and offer advice. At the least, find a professional interviewer or a person in charge of hiring and ask them their initial response to what you are sending out. A mentor or coach can be valuable for giving a different point of view on how others view you. Maybe you aren’t as skilled as you think in an area or maybe you have a talent, which has gone unnoticed or underdeveloped. This professional’s advice can potentially help you find real strengths which will fuel your career going forward.

Plan for the Interview

Whatever you write must match up with what you say, so don’t embellish yourself into a corner. Be honest about what you know and can do and be ready for questions regarding these abilities. Employers want to see a well-rounded candidate and expect them to Your_Resume_Is_Bad_Image_1.jpghave experience and skills, but if there seems to be too many things that you are great at, then the question may arise as to why you aren’t already snatched up by a competing organization. And any hint of lying on your resume is a sure fire way to see yourself to the door.

Consistently Revise and Update

By keeping an up to date resume, you are more likely to be ready for that one in a million opportunity and nothing says professionalism like a candidate who is ready at a moment’s notice. If nothing else, revising and updating regularly will make sure you won’t need to do much polishing when it is time to submit. Be sure your dates add up and your most recent accomplishments are listed. You won’t make a great impression if your achievements are out-of-date. Take a moment every few months to add to you resume, to make it easy on yourself later when you do start looking for open positions.

Your resume can easily get lost in the sea of other applicants, which is why its so necessary to make yours stand out from the rest. And since its often your only chance to make that great first impression, it is necessary to look it over with a fine-toothed comb and an impartial eye. Use these rules to help establish and maintain a compelling work narrative and land that coveted job.


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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