Professional Resume Writing 101

I’ve decided to start another blog series – this time, all about crafting your professional resume. The purpose of this post is to kick this series off and share what I will cover in upcoming posts.

To start, though, I want to talk a bit about my background and experience – who am I to dole out advice on your resume? – and lay out a few disclaimers in advance.

At the beginning of the year, I lost my job, as did many of my colleagues. This, of course, ignited a surge in resume-related conversations. While I fortunately had a solid, up-to-date starting point (which I’ll talk more about in an upcoming post in this series!), I had several conversations with professional mentors, editing sessions with peers – including a good friend who is a writer by profession, and heads-down ‘wordsmithing’ time in order to perfect my resume.

Additionally, I threw an open offer out to my colleagues that I would review and edit their resumes, and at least a few dozen peers took me up on that. That’s actually what sparked this series – I received a ton of positive feedback from those whose resumes I reviewed and realized that others may benefit from my experience and input as well. I’m not a professional, credentialed resume writer or career counselor, but I am a good writer, a grammar and spelling nitpicker, an eager learner, and a person whose resume has made it onto several ‘short stacks’ of first-round interview candidates.

Before going any further, I do want to mention some quick disclaimers/FYIs. Resume (and hiring) best practices, rules of thumb, standards, and expectations are going to vary by industry and profession. My former colleagues and I worked in the tech industry, so my experience and expertise comes from that profession. My tips and advice will apply to resumes across just about any industry, but there may be things specific to your industry (like a design portfolio) that I don’t address.

Additionally, I will share personal examples and anecdotes throughout the series, but please understand that I will also maintain a level of privacy – I won’t show you my resume in full, or provide specifics about my former employers or colleagues. (That goes for this series as well as subsequent professional development-related posts I might write in the future.) Thanks for understanding. 🙂

Without further ado, here are the topics that I’ll cover in this series!

Content. This will be the meatiest topic. I’ll cover the different categories of content to include and the dos and don’ts of describing your roles.

Layout. Should you put your technical expertise at the top? What about the Master’s degree you earned last year? In this post, I’ll talk about how best to sequence the content categories that you have , based on your personal situation.

Tips for keeping your resume up-to-date. It’s a real PITA to learn that you’ve been laid off and need to scramble to pull together a resume overnight (you know, on top of the PITA of actually being laid off). This post will include my tips for maintaining a current resume over time so it’s ready to go if you need it.

FAQs. This will be kind of a smorgasbord post of various questions that I’ve been asked when helping others with their resumes and questions that I’ve had myself as well.

Be on the lookout soon for the first post, and I cannot wait to share all that I’ve learned about crafting the perfect resume!

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