Resumes for when you’re good at everything
The multi-skilled and the high achievers have it hardest when framing their skills.
By Jacquie Liversidge
If you’re good at your job– or a few different jobs– chances are that putting your resume together is going to be difficult.
Natural lovers of learning tend to acquire a long and complicated skills section, a confusing achievements section and a bizarre career overview.
But don’t stress!
Making sense of a career in which you have excelled in many different areas isn’t difficult if you break it down into it’s smaller parts.
Step 1: Start small
Without thinking too hard, start with your job roles. Include the dates, role title and employer. List your responsibilities underneath.
Underneath the responsibilities, create a separate and small heading titled Achievements, under which you list the achievements from that role.
Great. Now don’t think too hard, and move on.
Step 2: Education
Depending on how important your role is for the job you are applying for, think about putting your education either before your professional experience or after.
List the date, degree and training organisation, dot pointing any achievements from the training directly underneath.
This one is too easy.
Step 3: Skills
This is where you are going to be inclined to list 50 separate skills you can demonstrate.
And this is where you need to make very careful and personalised decisions on your resume specific to your skill set.
Some examples of different skill areas you can start with are:
Underneath each skill area, dot point your skills.
- Strong stakeholder engagement and relationship management
- Highly developed written communication skills
- Ability to deliver presentations from small to large groups
- Proven negotiation and conflict resolution tactics
Spelling out your skills under different skill areas will mean clarity for employer, fewer errors in your identification of skills and a move away from dense areas of text which rarely get read.
Hint: Look back at your responsibilities under each job.
What were the skills you used and learnt in each of the responsibilities?
The hard part is over!
Step 4: Career overview
There has been a recent move away from career objectives, due to overuse and lack of valuable content—in short, they don’t get read.
However, in place of a written objective, having a series of dot points at the start of your resume that give an overview of your career to date can be invaluable in making sense of the document to whomever may be assessing your application.
- 7 years’ experience in leadership
- Proven history of achieving strategic objectives
- Strong communicator with a history of expanding industry networks
Don’t repeat your skills here. Give an overview that tells the employer a bit about what they are going to expect reading your resume and be in charge for setting the tone of the document.
Step 5: Add any missing data
This one doesn’t need an enormous explanation.
Step 6: Ask someone for an objective eye
Find your most bluntly honest friend or colleague to run their eyes over it and tell you what they think of it as a first impression.
Make any changes you feel you need—and most importantly—leave it for a few days.
Fresh eyes will do your application a world of wonder and will allow you to approach it yourself with some objectivity.
We hope these tips will help you to make sense moving forward on your resume if you are stuck on getting your separate key messages across.
As always, feel free to get in touch and send us a message with any of your questions.