You are finally ready to make a career change and have identified your next dream job however your experience on your resume doesn’t align with the new opportunities you are trying to land, so what do you do?
In Career Accelerator's webinar with our partner Alysha Campbell from CultureShift HR, we talked about what you should and should not do on your resume to land your next job in this highly saturated and competitive market. Alysha shared with us some of her tools and tricks for your resume to get to the top of the pile!
All resumes need to have the following:
Profile Statement - the “red carpet” of your resume.
It lays out the foundations of who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you are looking for in your next job. A profile statement communicates your value and expertise that you bring to the organization.
We should differentiate a profile statement and the objective statement. Here is and example of both:
I am a lawyer currently seeking a new opportunity that will allow me to grow in fast paced and challenging environment.
A persuasive, educated and skilled advisor with outstanding communication, client service and relationship management skills. History of successfully delivering innovative legal and business solutions while handling day to day coverage of complex and sophisticated financial counterparties. Acknowledged by peers, subordinates and senior leadership for tenacity, exceptional analytical skills and the ability to gracefully manage the dynamic of a rapidly changing environment.
With a profile statement, you are setting up on the first 30 second of reading your resume, what this person should expect from you and a great impression on the employer. On the other hand, an objective statement doesn’t provide the same amount of information in order to fully showcase your image and expertise.
To write a profile statement:
- Take an inventory of your skills. Go through the list and see what skills are necessary versus are just nice to have
- Keep it to 3-4 sentences
- Use keywords from job descriptions
If you are going through a career change and must pivot your resume to fit your new job, use your profile statement to help connect the jobs of your pivot. Let the employer know that you are new to the industry but make sure to pull some of the skills from your previous industry.
Here is an example:
Eager, smart and adaptable UX Designer with fresh background in user experience for web application design. Data driven and user-centered oriented, looking to lever skills to bring improvements to the XYZ company as a UX Designer. Quick study that thrives in fast paced team environments.
It is crucial how you present your work experience in the resume, make sure to start with the current job and descent into previous roles.
Typically, you also want to include company title, geographical region, and 4-5 bullets on key responsibilities. Your resume needs to demonstrate your skills and experience within the functionality of your role of the company, so be specific.
For example, if you are an accountant and your main responsibility is accounts payable and receivable you need to demonstrate the skills and expertise you bring to the role. So, instead of writing “Manage AP and AR process.”, write “Manager AP and AR for 1000+ employee company resulting in over 2.5 million in monthly transactions”.
If you are in a new industry or role and don’t have any experience, start applying for volunteer roles or internships to start getting that experience. Volunteering a couple hours per week to get the practical experience, can mean a lot on the resume in the future.
Education and Certifications
If you are a recent graduate or a career changer who is upskilling with a minimal experience in the new industry, put any relevant education and/or certificates in front and the center of your resume.
- Intro to Web Development, Lighthouse Labs – completion Nov.2020
- Intro to Data Analytics, Lighthouse Labs – completion June. 2018
If you recently completed the program, it is also good to write a little blurb on the overview of the program like this:
Data Science: Learned the essentials of data foundations, data wrangling, data visualization, machine learning, data engineering and deep learning with
Your education can differentiate you from someone else, so now is the prime time to take those extra courses. If you are looking into upskilling but worried about the price point, there are lots of free resources available, such as Learn to Code, Code Academy, Coursera.
When thinking about including technical skills in your resume, it’s important if you are in or are thinking about going into the tech industry or any industry that has specialized software that you use, you identify it. If you are more on the industrial side and don’t use computers a lot or in a role that just uses program fundamentals like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, you can list those if you wish, but it is optional. Many companies look at this to see what experience level you have in various programs, so also indicate what you are a novice in vs. an expert.
- Experienced: CSS, HTML
- Novice: Ruby on Rails, React JS
Accomplishments - the impact they you’ve made in each of your jobs
In either your individual job descriptions or a section of your resume, ensure that you highlight your accomplishments. You can include your accomplishments in the work experience section or create a separate section in your resume to highlight all of them together. For example, if you completed a course top of your class or graduated a program with a certain acknowledgement ensure you highlight it along with any key projects that showcase your ability and skill
- Graduated top 5% of my class
- Completed a data analysis project that saved a company 15% on overall yearly costs
If your accomplishment is not metric based, you should still include it in your resume (received a reward, employee of the month, etc.)
Contact Information and Social Media Links
Ensure your contact information is on the top of your resume and it is up-to-date. This also includes the links to your social media profiles, as nowadays 90% of all recruiters or hiring managers look for them. When mentioning social media sites, make sure those are on the professional side, such as LinkedIn, GitHub, your website portfolio. Check out this article to read how to create a LinkedIn profile that can get you a job in tech.
Resume Dos and Don'ts
- Start from a template
- Use data points and metrics
- Keep it simple
- Get someone else to review
- Be positive and have patience
- Do coffee chats, meet new people
- Squish into much information (you can send them to Linkedin of you'd’ like to show more)
- Use terms you are not familiar with
- Get too crazy with design, some colour in clean ways is fine
- Don’t take job postings and put it into your resume word for word
Remember, a resume is the first time someone is meeting you. It’s being read by someone who has no clue who you are, this is your first impression – make it count. Bring a recruiter along your journey, help them to understand your work.
Dedicated Covid-19 Job Resources
- Layoff Tracker
- The Help List: COVID 19 Worker Support
- Who is Freezing Hiring From Coronavirus
- Outplacement Services
If you would like to receive Alysha’s resume templates and sign-up for the latest news from Career Accelerator, make sure to fill out the form below.
Alysha Campbell - an accomplished and respected Strategic HR Leader with a decade of experience that encompasses all facets of Human Resource Management. From executing successful multi-million dollar workforce recruitment and optimization projects to spearheading employee culture initiatives, Alysha has truly seen and done it all in the HR space.
Her passion for the industry has led her to start her own HR Consultancy and Strategy agency - CultureShift HR. As Founder and Principal, Alysha uses her business acumen to help companies utilize and engage their best talent while creating purposeful work environments that help businesses grow and thrive.
To be the first to know about upcoming events, and get your hands on the latest career resources, register for the Career Accelerator Newsletter here.