Baker’s Dozen – Resume Tips

by Carla D. Bass, Colonel, USAF (Ret)

1. Write from the company’s perspective. How will it benefit by hiring you?

2. Investigate! – Like the reporter, dig for facts about your performance; keep a job journal. Saved resources … how much? Worked a significant project — did what, exactly? Duration of effort and impact? Demonstrated initiative … how and what?

3. Emphasize the “so what” – What exactly was your value added? Developed and implemented a new marketing strategy. Sales increased 30% over previous year, setting new benchmark for the company. Other divisions now emulate.

4. Prioritize and triage – Decide what NOT to include – Determine based on scope of impact

5. Grab the reader’s attention – Open with a hook. Leave reader wanting more

6. Frame the story – Details help readers grasp importance and context of the accomplishment

7. Highlight accolades – Cite bonuses, awards, kudos from boss or client; use quotations, if powerful

8. Stand out from the crowd – Use subliminal words to connote “selection” (e.g., chosen, selected, nominated for, entrusted with, in a competitive process, in only [amount of time]

9. Find and discard useless words – Space is precious. Each word counts

10. Avoid gibberish – It loses the reader (e.g., excessive detail & jargon)

11. Shorter is better – Don’t use words that hog space

12. Verbs are your friends – Find real verbs, they’re often hidden. Eschew boring/passive verbs (e.g., provided, supported, coordinated, assisted) in favor of hard-hitting (e.g., initiated, directed, created)

13. Keep the Focus – Shut the Gates … Don’t distract readers with the wrong story, gibberish, improperly used statistics, and inconsistent bullets (i.e., mixing nouns/verbs and present/past tenses)

Bonus — Revise … Edit … Proofread!

Copyright © 2021 Carla D. Bass, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
“Write to Influence!” All rights reserved.

Here’s a link to the PDF.