The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
Do you grin hysterically every time someone asks for your resume?
Back to the basics: your resume must be focused, truthful, and relevant.
If your document is outdated or patched, a thoughtful review is in order. Make sure your resume contents align with your current role, and the needs of your target market. Once your document is functional again, you're ready to tweak it.
1. Create a letterhead (5-10 minutes)
With a letterhead, your name and contact details stand out on the page.
Also, the graphic element enhances the overall look of your resume.
To maximise the impact, include your logo and professional headline. And make sure that your chosen fonts and colours align with your brand image and existing marketing materials.
Need some inspiration? This collection of 400+ free templates (.doc) is just for you!
2. Increase font size (2 minutes)
A smaller font size helps you squeeze more info in your résumé.
But it also makes your document harder to read, and unattractive.
Increasing the font size is a self-discipline hack. It will force you to be more selective.
Which translates to enhanced readability, clarity, and focus.
3. Craft an eye-catching introduction (30 minutes)
Freelancers hunt for customers, not employers. That's why your resume should be the opening act of a conversation with the prospect. And a few introductory words can help show your personality, thus boosting the conversational effect.
Focus on writing 2-3 strong paragraphs that summarise your skills and "reason why".
Go with first person, singular. And avoid bulleted lists.
4. Strive for concise resume copy (up to 1 hour)
Résumés are often loaded with clichés and trite wording. That makes them sound sloppy, boring, and undifferentiated. Eliminate fillers and redundancies to highlight what's important - your talents, and how your work helps customers achieve their goals.
5. Revise one section at a time (10 minutes)
Assessing each resume section as a stand-alone item will help you identify potential weaknesses and room for improvement. And makes the task less daunting.
6. Tweak the layout (20 minutes)
A custom layout can make your resume pop - and show your personality as a bonus.
Explore layout options to create something different. You can e.g.
Make it shine, with a pinch of salt.
Graphic elements should not stand above your copy.
7. Use numbers and real-life examples (15 minutes)
Numbers are great. They stand out from the sea of words, and support your claims with tangible information. Using facts and figures makes your resume copy more relevant for your prospects, and provides them with a well-rounded overview of your background.
What's your worst resume-related nightmare? Got any good tips to share?
Join the conversation in the comments below!