An experienced candidate has to have a different resume than what a recent graduate would have. Whereas a new grad’s resume is often general, your resume should be highlighting your previous track record, demonstrating to a potential employer what you bring to the table and what you can add to the organization.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Give a summary, not an objective. Specify three or four skills that match the employer’s needs. These highlights can appear in a short paragraph or quick “bullet” format. But remember to be brief if you include one. The worst thing you can do is have a page with only a summary. It would go straight to the can.
- Lead with experience, not education (the exact opposite of what a new graduate should do).
- List accomplishments, not just responsibilities. Don’t just tell employers what you did; tell them the outcome. Anytime you can quantify things in your resume, the stronger it will be. For example: “Proposed and tracked $800,000 annual departmental budget.” “Only division to meet deadlines and operate within budget during past three years.” Statements like these shows your problem-solving skills.
- List activities that relate directly to your self-improvement or professional development efforts (i.e. continuing education, professional conferences, certificates earned, etc.). Do not include hobbies or interests. That can go on your MySpace page.
- Your resume’s length should be based on your accomplishments. An experienced candidate often has enough relevant accomplishments to expand his or her resume to a second page. However, you don’t want to dilute the focus by writing out every single award won since high school. Keep it relevant to the position you are applying for. If you can’t fill up more than 1/4 of the second page, I would keep it to one.
- Consider listing and describing all of your accomplishments when developing the resume. This will help determine what to include. Tailor each resume to include the accomplishments that relate to a particular position you are applying for.
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