I re-entered the workforce not too long ago (only to leave it again). But I did have to work on my resume, and here are some things that were helpful to me:
- I kept a list of resume-related accomplishments for years. Brainstorm everything that you’ve done that is job related and stick it down in a document. Then edit through it later.
- You can include work you didn’t get paid for. Volunteer work and freelance work and random hobbies can be things to include in your resume if they are related to the job you are applying for. I liked designing websites, so I included freelance web designer on my resume, even though I wasn’t always paid for my designs.
- Improve skills. It’s a good idea to keep improving skills throughout your life and keep learning.
- Use years, not dates. Instead of saying that you worked at a job from August 2010-September 2013, just say that you worked at the job for three years.
- Design your resume for the job you’re applying for. Sometimes I’ll have random experience or skills that is specifically related to a job announcement, and I have to make sure to add those in.
- Be specific.
- You don’t have to include everything. A resume is a highlight reel and should not be comprehensive.
- Don’t lie, exaggerate, or hide. You want your resume to be representative of your best self, not your imaginary self.
- But don’t get too humble. Even if an accomplishment doesn’t really feel that impressive to you, you should probably still include it in your resume.