Whenever you haven’t upgraded your resume in a little while, it can be tough to know where to get started. You must consider the key accomplishments and experiences to include based on the career move you have got your eye on. Further, you must be aware of the new resume principles and trends you should be adjusting it to as well as considering if it should be 1 or 2 pages.
As a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer professional, you have additional considerations that others do not. If you have worked or volunteered for LGBT organizations you must decide if and how they’ll be represented on your resume when applying to non-LGBT focused companies/organizations. See our related article titled “Are You OUT as an LGBT Professional on Your Resume?”
Revamping Your Resume/CV Can be Daunting. To help you on your new job search, we have compiled all of the information you need into one spot to jump-start your efforts. You’ll be on the right track to craft a winning resume to land a new job. When your resume is ready to send to recruiters, check out our article titled “Job Seeking as an LGBT Employee” for tips and advice.
Creating or updating a resume is not a fun task but very necessary.
1. Do a little profile snooping
Search LinkedIn, OutBüro and other sites for profiles of people with similar job/career titles. Check out what they list and how they say it to spark some ideas for yourself. If you can find persons who work in the company you are targeting that’s awesome but be very careful not to mimic their information. Bad idea. It’s a source of ideas, not a copy and paste job.
2. Get other people’s perspective
If close to someone from work invite them over or out and ask their opinions. Be sure to write it, or pull out your phone and video the dialog. Maybe pretend you are a reporter and asking questions for a feature story. Lead them to detail how fabulous you are and why. You might gain some golden nuggets.
3. Lock up the liqueur
When it’s time to organize your thoughts – put the cocktail down. Well, maybe one or two, while working on your resume is OK. I’m guilty myself. But keep your head clear.
4. Do not prematurely press send
Most definitely do not send a freshly updated resume out right away – especially if completed under the influence. Wait and fully review it the next day. A fresh and refreshed review is a great idea. If you can, have another person with a sharp eye for detail review it as well.
5. Research the companies/organizations
Do your homework on organizations to size up how LGBT friendly they are. To learn more how to go about doing this check out our article titled “Job Seeking as an LGBT Employee”. Check out OutBüro – LGBTQ Employer Reviews/Ratings. Please add a review of your current and past employers up to 5 years for other LGBT people to learn about those organizations from your LGBT employee experience and views.
You Are Amazing – Now How to Convey That
6. Typically an objective statement is not necessary
The sole occasion when an objective section makes sense is if you are creating a massive career change and will need to spell out from the get-go your expertise does not match up with the place you are applying to. In each other instance consider if a summary statement will be right for you–or simply nix it entirely to conserve space and concentrate on making the remainder of your resume amazing.
7. Keep it focused
Your resume shouldn’t have every job experience you ever had recorded on it. Think about your resume not as a thorough collection of your career background, but as a marketing document promoting you as the ideal person for the job. For every resume you send out, you’re going to want to highlight just the achievements and skills which are most applicable to the job you are applying for – even if this means that you don’t detail all your expertise. Yes, this is quite a bit of work but it will increase your chances of landing that job versus mass sending a generic resume. Check out our article titled “Say “Bye Bye Felicia” to Duties on Your Resume “.
8. Maintain a master list of jobs with accomplishments
As you will want to be swapping data in and out of your resume based on the job that you’re applying to, maintain a resume master document where you retain any info you have ever included on a resume: older jobs, bullet points tailored for various software, particular projects that just occasionally make sense to add. Then, once you’re crafting every update and job specific resume, it is then only a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information, review, save and send.
9. Put all your best stuff “above the fold”
Keep all your glorious shining examples, “above the fold”. Above the fold describes everything you see in front of a folded newspaper (or, in the electronic era, until you have to scroll), but essentially it’s your initial impression of a record. On a resume talk, it means you ought to be certain your finest achievements are visible on the upper third of your resume. This top part is exactly what the hiring manager will see first–and what’s going to function as a hook for somebody to continue reading. So concentrate on placing your best, most applicable experiences first.
10. Most recent first and work to oldest
There are tons of unique ways to arrange the info in your resume, however the inverse chronological (your most recent experience is listed first) remains your very best choice. Unless it is absolutely necessary for your situation.
11. Short and sweet
Going beyond a single page is a hotly debated subject, however, the main point is that – you want the content on your resume to be succinct. Adhering it to a single page is a fantastic way to force yourself to achieve this. If you really have significant expertise, achievements, training, and credentials to showcase that expands beyond 1 page of your resume, then proceed with caution.
12. Flaunt it online
If you can not work out how to tell your entire story on a single page or wish to have the ability to incorporate some visual examples of your job? Rather than attempting to cram everything onto your resume consider a dedicated web page for your career. Purchasing a domain name is fairly cheap and if you are not savvy in HTML or WordPress there are many sites for the novice such as Squarespace and Wix
13. KISS – keep it simple silly
We are going to discuss becoming creative to be able to stick out in a moment. However, the most elementary principle of great resume formatting and layout. Keep it easy to skim and read. Make your resume easy by employing supervisors’ eyes using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space to the page and web page. It is possible to use another font or typeface on your title, your resume headers, as well as the company names, but keep it simple and keep it consistent. This is not the time to make your resume look like a unicorn pooped a rainbow all over it. I like to use black for text and ONE other color for things like job titles. Your primary focus here needs to be to readability for the diversity recruiter, general recruiter, and hiring manager.
14. Carefully stand out
You need your resume stand out of the ocean of boring. Leverage your creativity no matter the job type to stand out without going wacky. On your resume website, potentially include infographics, videos, and images related to your achievements and abilities. On the paper version consider minimal yet creative graphics or icons that may set you apart. It demonstrates that you’ve put above average thought into your presentation and likely will do the same on the job. Save the file as a PDF so that when you upload it, all the work will show. Naturally, when completing online resume/applications such as on the OutBüro Job Portal Resume, keep it clean and simple. In all cases, keep your profession and target companies in mind. If you are applying to some more conventional company versus as creative company, do not get too crazy, but also don’t hesitate to bring some elegant design components or a little color to make it pop. A little time and creativity can show you have imagination and style.
15. Your contact info should be prominent
You do not have to add your home street address in your resume, but you have to be certain that you include a contact number and personal email address – don’t use the email address at your current employer. Seem like a DUH!, but had to be state it. In addition to some other areas the hiring manager could locate you on the internet, such as your OutBüro, LinkedIn, Twitter and pertinent social media profiles.
16. Social media
This is not formatting but since I just suggested putting your social media profile links on your resume I have to right here state that you only want to list professional social media accounts. Obviously you won’t add that Grindr account you know you have, but even major social media sites often have not so professional content on them. It’s ok to have links to LGBT related stuff – helping LGBT Youth, Charity Events, etc, so long as the marketing and posted event images can be viewed in a Fortune 500 level office cubicle land environment. If there are posting you made or tagged by friends in photos of circuit party boys, naked drum circles, fetish gear, and you in your underwear (or none at all)… yeah… remove them.
On Facebook, you can edit your profile setting to be only visible to “Friends” for example if you cherish having the slightly racy images of hunks or hot babes on your feed. But LinkedIn, OutBüro and Twitter best be 100% professional office worthy. Go ahead and Google yourself and for why not search on Bing and Yahoo too. What you find is what the recruiter will find. AND THEY LOOK.
Clean up content – lock up account AND delete all questionable content.
Make it skim-able
You have your resume make it past the average 6 seconds a recruiter typically spends on their initial scan of resumes.
17. Do not center any text
This enhances readability since the eye naturally contributes to the left perimeter when it is ready to proceed to another line of text.
18. Align your dates and places to the right
To help separate your own information, create another column for dates and places that are right justified.
19. Do not justify your resume
This setting leaves irregular gaps between words which finally make the text more difficult to read. Set them to left justified.
20. Maintain the same size and font
Besides your title, which ought to be a bit larger, the font and size of your resume should be the exact same size to aid readability.
21. Be bold but limit bolding text
Bolding of choice words and phrases assists with scanning, but do not need to go overboard. Select what to bold sensibly, based on the message that you need to convey. In case your job titles efficiently illustrate your route into management-level functions, bolding those may make the most sense. On the flip side, if you are a new graduate and the majority of your career are internships, you could benefit more from highlighting the firms you have worked at. Your choices will depend on your experience and the target job you seek.
22. Utilize ALL-CAPS very sparingly
ALTHOUGH USING ALL-CAPS IS A WAY TO DRAW ATTENTION TO A WORD OR PHRASE, JUST AS IN ONLINE OR IN EMAIL, IF OVERUSED IT IS SIMILAR TO SHOUTING. IT IS ALSO DIFFICULT TO READ ESPECIALLY WHEN OVERUSED. SO IT DIMINISHES EASY SKIMMING FOR RECRUITERS. IT ALSO CAN BE OFF PUTTING MAKING YOUR RESUME A GREAT CANDIDATE FOR THE TRASHCAN. IF YOU STILL FEEL THAT YOU MUST USE ALL-CAPS, CONSIDER THEM FOR THE RESUME TITLE AND SECTION HEADINGS ONLY.
23. Maximize the Initial 5 words your bullets
When skimming a resume, a recruiter is quite likely going to be concentrating the first couple of words of the bullets. If their interest is piqued, they then will read more. This usually means that first couple of words of your bullets are more significant than the rest. Be sure to use action verbs in those first few words. For ideas on how to stand out with action verbs read our article title “Rainbow Bright Verbs To Create a Resume as Fabulous as You”.
24. Keep bullets under 2 lines
On each bullet provide short and sweet descriptions. The first two or three words should capture the attention and then keep each bullet point to just 1 and nor more than 2 short sentences.
25. Curate your bullet points
However long you have been at work, or just how much you have achieved there, you should not have over five or six bullets in a specific section. However great your bullets are, the simple fact is that if there are too many the recruiter is simply not going to get through them. Choose your top achievement to list on your resume and keep the rest to discuss during an interview.
26. Use numbers versus spelling them out
Using numbers on your bullet points quantifies figures and assists recruiters better comprehend the impact of your past accomplishments. Numbers are easier to scan and makes them pop out from the sea of text. Additionally, it’ saves space. (i.e., 45% versus forty-five percent).
27. Be consistent
Job seekers can get quite creative when they are attempting to cram all their pertinent work experience to one single page. Creativity is fine, but be sure to you maintain your formatting exactly the same throughout the resume.
Finally, having whitespace is like a fresh of breath air. It aids in skimming and provides clues to section breaks and what’s important.
29. Keep it target job/career relevant
Generally, you should only reveal the latest 10-15 years of your career background and just incorporate the expertise applicable to the job roles to which you’re applying. When there’s a choice between involving yet another internship or moving into more detail about your present role, always pick the latter – unless your former job was applicable to the one which you’re applying to. Check out our article titled “Say “Bye Bye Felicia” to Duties on Your Resume “.
30. Not great at layout design
Know that design ability is not your strong suit but need your resume to look stupendous? This is potentially the most important thing in your job hunt, therefore it is well worth getting it exactly perfect! If you cannot afford to hire a professional resume writer to hone your document, then reach out to knowledgeable friends and trusted coworkers or advice and critique. Search online for resume design and layout for ideas.
31. No appropriate expertise
Do not worry if you do not have some expertise that the job list as requirements.
Focus your resume in your applicable and transferable skills together with any related facet or instructional internship jobs or volunteering, be certain that you pair it with a solid cover letter telling the story of why you are best for the job.
32. Take the jargon down a notch
You could be tempted to throw in loads of business or technical jargon so that you seem as if you understand what you are referring to, but finally, you need your resume to be more clear to the ordinary individual. Bear in mind that the first person who sees your resume could be a recruiter or an assistant who typically has limited to no knowledge about the roles they are trying to fill. Or it may go straight to the hiring manager with great expertise. Sure you need buzz words but it need to be understood by the average person too. Find the balance to be certain it’s readable, relevant, and interesting to them all.
33. Quantify It
Utilize as many facts, statistics, and figures as possible on your bullet points. Just how many people were affected by your job? By what percent did you exceed your objectives? By measuring your achievements, you truly enable the hiring supervisor to envision the degree of responsibility or work you had to attain them. Even in the event that you don’t really work with numbers, here are a few keys to adding more to a resume. Remember, as mentioned above, to use the numerical value instead of spelling out numbers. (i.e., 45% versus forty-five percent).
34. What did you achieve
Companies and organization today like hire action oriented achievers. This means you would like to demonstrate that you did not just do things, but you have things done! As you look over your bullet points, think of ways to take every statement one step farther and include in what the advantage was to your boss or your organization. As a result, you definitely communicate not just what you’re capable of, but also the direct advantage the employer will get by hiring you. For a more in-depth review of this topic, review our article titled “Say “Bye Bye Felicia” to Duties on Your Resume”.
35. Demonstrate your soft skills
Describing soft skills on a resume frequently begins to seem like a laundry list of meaningless buzzwords, quickly. However, being a “powerful leader” or an “effective communicator” is significant abilities that you want to get across. Consider how you are able to demonstrate those skills in your bullet points without really saying them.
36. Consider non-traditional work
There is no law which says you may just put full-time or compensated work in your resume. Consequently, if you have engaged in a significant volunteer function, worked part-time, were hired as a temporary or contract employee, freelanced, or even blogged? Consider listing these items as their own “jobs” in your career chronology. If your work or volunteering included LGBT organizations, check out our article titled “Are You OUT as an LGBT Professional on Your Resume?”.
37. Mix up your word usage
Utilize our useful collection of action verbs to mix up it! Rainbow Bright Verbs To Create a Resume as Fabulous as You
38. Use keywords for human and automation
Use keywords in your resume: Scan the job description, and see what phrases are used most frequently, and be sure that you’ve included them in your bullet points. Not only is that a self-check that you are targeting your resume for the job, it is going to be certain that you get seen in applicant tracking systems. Remember that often the first human that sees your resume likely has no experience in your line of work. Spell it out so that your resume fits the job description. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence is on the rise in the land of recruiting. You need to ensure that the automation systems can identify words and phrases on your resume that is a match to the job description.
39. Prevent empty words
What words should not you include? We bet there is a much better way to explain just how amazing you are. Use our list of action verbs in the article titled “ Say “Bye Bye Felicia” to Duties on Your Resume”. Further, we love to switch it up and recommend using http://www.thesaurus.com/ to find awesome, amazing and stupendous and fabulous word alternatives. Also, double check work meanings at http://www.dictionary.com/ and while at it leverage https://app.grammarly.com/.
40. Experience 1st, education 2nd
Unless you are a recent grad, place your education after your job experience. Odds are, your last few jobs and accomplishments there are more significant and relevant to you obtaining the interview and job than just where you went to school. Keep in mind that many are very successful where their degrees have nothing to do careers now.
41. Put education in reverse order
Typically, you should list your educational background by order the latest or advanced level first, continuing in inverse chronological order.
42. Skip the dates
Do not list your graduation dates. The reviewer cares about more about that you have the education and less about when you acquired it. Further, it could “date” you. If asked in an interview you can answer that question, but leave it off your resume.
43. Honors but not GPA
If you graduated from school with high honors, certainly make the recruiter and hiring manager aware if it. But you do not need to list your GPA.
44. Online and Continuing Education
Recruiters and hiring manager love to see that you are continuing to improve your knowledge. So add continuing education, professional development coursework, or internet classes in your area of work. Online classes are a more-than-accepted standard today, and your involvement in them can really show your motivation and determination to develop skills to improve your career.
Skills, Awards, and Interests
45. List your skills
Make sure you put in a section that lists out all of the relevant skills you’ve got to get a position, such as technician abilities such as particular web/software programming languages, medical skills, and other related technical industry-related certifications. Just be certain that you skip including abilities which everybody is predicted to have, such as using email or Microsoft Word unless the job description spells those out as requirements.
46. Break up the skills
In case you have a lot of skills that support your career consider grouping and breaking them into subheadings to ease the reader skimming process. They might be titled, foreign language, areas of law, programming, applications, and leadership abilities.
47. Prove some character
Don’t hesitate to incorporate an “Interests” section in your resume, but just add the ones that are related to the occupation. Are you really a guitar player with your eye to a music business? Surely include it. But for example, your birdwatching hobby won’t help you to get a programming job at a financial institution. Do not even consider doing it. That’s cubical conversation once hired. As a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer person, is equal rights and volunteering at a local LGBT center for youth important to you? Only put on your resume/CV what is valid for your career. If your work or volunteering at those organization is part of your career qualifications, take a look at our article titled “Are You OUT as an LGBT Professional on Your Resume?”.
48. Beware of interests which may be controversial
Yes, these experiences reveal a fantastic quantity of work ethic–however they might also be discriminated against by somebody who disagrees with the cause. Know that “LGBT Workers in over half of the United States lack full protection.” Do your homework on organizations to size up how LGBT friendly they are. To learn more how to go about doing this check out our article titled “Job Seeking as an LGBT Employee”. Check out OutBüro – LGBTQ Employer Reviews/Ratings. Please add a review of your current and past employers up to 5 years for other LGBT people to learn about those organizations from your LGBT employee experience and views.
Gaps and Other Tricky Resume Circumstances
49. Zap those short-term jobs
If you stayed at a (non-temporary) occupation for just a matter of weeks, then consider removing it from your own resume. Leaving a specially short-lived job or two off your job history should not hurt, so long as you are honest about your expertise.
50. Deal with all the gaps
Any gaps longer than a month or two will be asked about. Be ready for a response. You may consider adding a response right on your resume such as “Temporarily cared for an ill family member”. Keep it brief. Do not go into detail. Leave that for the interview if asked during the interview still respond with a short message of just enough information. For example, “I cared for my sister during her recovery from breast cancer.” Or maybe if it fits you say, “I had a medical issue that required me to step aside from my career for a short while and now ready to get back.” Don’t say, “I was in an alcohol rehab program.” Remember KISS – always.
51. Long breaks in employment
Re-entering the work after a long hiatus? This is the best chance for a summary statement on very top, outlining your very best abilities and achievements. After that, enter your profession chronology, without hesitating to add volunteer or part-time work.
52. Where you a job hopper?
If you have job-hopped often, including a motive for leaving alongside every entry, using a succinct explanation such as “company closed,” “layoff because of downsizing,” “contract lost,” or even “moved to new town” is a good idea. By annotating the gaps like this, you will proactively illustrate the main reason behind your irregular job moves and show in its best light to hopefully still be in the running for that great new job.
53. Time off to raise kids
Raising children is challenging, however, don’t try to fill gaps in your resume by elaborating on your fine skills of multi-tasking household chores while tending to the children. You may list an entry to give reason to your extended workforce absence, just don’t, repeat, DO NOT, try to be cute. What you can do is list any volunteer activities that demonstrate you attempted to keep up your professional skills or work at home jobs that kept you fresh.
54. References upon request
If a hiring supervisor will be interested in you, he or she’ll request references. Don’t waste the space on your resume. It’s presumed you have them and will provide them.
55. Ensure you triple proofread
It should go without saying, but be sure that your resume is completely free and clear of typos. As mentioned we love using http://www.thesaurus.com/ to find new words for those that are repeated. Be sure to double check the word full meanings with tools such as http://www.dictionary.com/ and while at it leverage https://app.grammarly.com/. But don’t just rely on those. Ask trusted coworkers, family and friends to review your resume and provide constructive feedback including any and all spelling and grammar issues they might find.
56. Saving and emailing it
If emailing your resume to an in-house recruiter, be certain that you always send a PDF as opposed to a .doc. This way all your careful formatting will not inadvertently get messed up as soon as the hiring supervisor opens on her or his PC. To ensure it will not look wonky once you ship off it, look at it at both Google Docs and Word, attach it to an email and open it in the preview. When sending to a headhunter, they usually request your resume in a .doc format. The reason is they strip out your contact information before sending it to the actual hiring company so they can maintain themselves as the middle person. You have less control, but they have many job opportunities they can present you for.
57. Name your file
Save your resume file within the format of “Resume – [First name] [Last name] – [Year] [Month]” rather than just “Resume.” It is just one less measure the hiring manager must take. You may also consider adding the major job title to the end such as “Full Stack Developer” or “Pediatric Nurse”.
58. Keep it fresh
Add a task or meeting to whatever electronic calendar system you use each quarter or so to pull up your resume and create a few upgrades. Have you learned new skills? Have you accomplished new and noteworthy things on the job? Recruiters actively reach out to people even while they are currently employed. Be ready to send off a stellar resume. It may be your next amazing new opportunity.
59. Professional profiles and online resume repositories
After you update your resume each quarter or so, go out to all the professional social media sites and job portals and update your resume in each after completing the “Keep it fresh” steps each quarter or so. This will keep your resume as fresh and active in those systems ensuring recruiters who use them always have you on their radar. Include LinkedIn, OutBüro’s Job Portal/Resume, Indeed, Career Builder, Monster, and other industry related job portals.
60. Be open
Keep your options open and active. You never know when that next opportunity will arise.