Resumes can be very intimidating and stressful at times. After all, it is usually one of the first opportunities for potential future employers to get to know you. So, how do you decide what to put on this piece of paper to fully represent who you are?
Begin by envisioning what you want your resume to look like. What impression do you want a potential employer to get from simply glancing at the layout? Use this vision to create or choose a template for what best aligns with the impression you want to make.
Most professional positions expect applicants to submit a resume along with a cover letter. This letter must clearly communicate the value you offer a future employer and in a competitive market, and it must stand out from others.
Along with a list of your achievements such as education, work experience, volunteer work, skills, and involvement with outside groups and organizations, you may want to craft a mission statement that reflects who you are and what you want to achieve. This will help paint a compelling picture of yourself to those reading it. Try to focus on pulling out key, influential statements and experiences that demonstrate how your personal efforts influenced and improved an organization.
With this being said, avoid making it a historical document of your life! You don’t need to go back to your first job at a summer camp in high school or list every single project you worked on at your last job. Keep in mind, it needs to fit on one page!
Consider using the “Why, What, and How Formula” from LinkedIn: what you did, how you did it and why. Start with a strong action verb and use quantifiable data. For example: “Created an access database for over 200 clients to achieve a more customized sales approach.” This is your opportunity to share some of your successes in previous roles.
Be accurate and honest in what you write, but don’t shy away from highlighting your successes. God gave you unique skills and talents and employers need to be aware of the value you can bring to their organization.
It’s important to keep your resume current. Update certifications, courses, and professional memberships as you earn or take them. Staying up to date with your resume will save you time and stress when you need it.
Maintaining a portfolio to showcase your talents and abilities is also very important alongside having your resume. This is a place where you are able to keep up with past projects in order to show potential employers to let them get a feel for your skill set and experience.
Remember that your resume is a first impression and reflects who you are. It’s important that as Christians we are marked by integrity, hard work, and humility. As in all areas of our lives, the Bible offers guidance into how we should approach our job search.
Work is a gift from God, and a resume is a tool to get you where you can best serve Him. Learning how to steward our time, money, and experiences is an important part of this process.
Crown’s Career Direct assessment is also a great way to help better understand yourself and your purpose. It looks at your personality, interests, skills, and values in order to help you get to know how God designed you.
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