DOES YOUR RESUME HAVE
BELLS & WHISTLES?|
There are ordinary, straightforward resumes that are considered
conservative and traditional. You’ve seen them many times. In fact, your
resume might fall under this category.
Sometimes conservative is preferable, especially if the field is
clinical or academic. However, there are ways to create interest without
going overboard. Plainly prepared resumes do little to convince a hiring
manager to read beyond the first few lines because nothing stands out
and the resume fails to tell a professional story. Sadly, there is
probably a lot of good experience being overlooked.
To compete in today’s downturned job market, a resume must grab a
reader’s attention and hold it. But how do you accomplish that goal
without overdoing it visually? Well, there are many bells and whistles
that can be used in a
resume that make a resume interesting, targeted,
content-rich, compelling, interesting, and story-telling. The short list
1. Heading Statement
2. Career Profile
3. Company and Position Overviews
4. Select Achievements
5. Testimonials, media mentions and awards
A resume has a purpose – to convince a hiring manager that you are the
right candidate. To ensure you do that, start with a format. It should
be consistent in font, indents, bolding, bullets and line choices.
To make yourself clear, use an objective statement instead of a standard
objective. It is a direct, in-your-face way to immediately communicate
what type of candidate you are.
For example, instead of including a standard Objective category followed
by a typical statement that reads, seeking a position in customer
service utilizing extensive experience and education, start the resume
off with, Customer Service Representative. Plain and simple, in all caps
Instead of including a standard Summary of
Qualifications category filled with attributes that
say what everyone else's resume is saying, such as excellent
communicator and team player, list what the employer is looking for. You
can get this information from the job ad requirements.
For example, if the position is Project Manager, make sure you have a
subcategory about Project Highlights. If the job title is Training
Facilitator, make sure you include a subcategory about Training
You can place these subcategories under your Profile section at the top
of the resume. Remember, you want to GRAB their attention, not bore them
at the onset.
It is always a good idea to include a brief overview of what the
employer is about so the reader can appreciate your role. You can find
this information under the About Us section on a company's website.
Modify their information and only include a line or two that covers the
type of industry, its products and services.
Instead of jumping right into what you do line-by-line, group all your
day-to-day experience in a paragraph and list your most interesting
experience under a subcategory called Select Achievements, Core
Contributions, or something along those lines. Then bullet those select
Testimonials, media mentions and special awards are good things to add
to a resume. But it has to be done properly. You can format the resume
in a way that includes a panel on the side to place an excerpt in
italics, followed by the person's name or job title or both.
Another way to include special mentions is to include a line above and
below the statement to create a visual border before the Professional
Experience section to create a natural divider that also contains the
If you are a Program Manager, emphasize the programs your planned,
developed and implemented under a Program Coordination section. If you
are an Information Technology professional, list your Project Highlights
and Technical Expertise. If you are a teacher, list Lesson Highlights.