Last updated: February 8, 2024
Resumes are highly individualized documents that share the highlights of your professional career to date.
hey should be brief and summarize, in chronological order, your different roles. While it may be tempting to outsource this task, try to write it yourself and use your own words and voice throughout. So, "what do I say" I hear you asking...
What should your resume actually say?
Your resume should say only the following:
Triple-check. You might be surprised to hear that most resumes I read contain some sort of error. Many people have looked at it 20 times and are simply unable to see the mistakes. My tip? Read your resume out loud, or, read it while pretending you’re reading someone else’s resume with the intention of looking for errors (trust me, this method works!).
Style versus substance. If you’re going to seek feedback on your resume, ask only for their substantive comments. Its really important your style and voice stays in the document. And many people make the mistake of correcting on style only, because substance involves a higher knowledge base.
Brevity. Be brief and concise. A resume is not a place to list everything and hope something resonates. It is a summarized version of your professional self that is tailored exactly to the role you are applying for. This means you should have different versions of your resume depending on the different roles you're applying for.
Tailoring. Understand the role you're applying for and really tailor your resume to speak directly to that role. Hiring managers don't have time to look for the detail, so don't bury the lead. Focus on your strengths and connect that directly to the key priorities in the role.
Clean versus busy. Law firms like a clean, easy to read resume. To marketers, this may feel like a resume that doesn't show creativity. Remember: Who is the reader of your resume? What do they want to see? How much time do they have to digest your experience?
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for 14 years and prior to that was an attorney. She loves what she does, and is always open to continuing the discussion: email@example.com