The Whys of Resume Writing

Published Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:19 PM

An up-to-date resume is a must-have for job hunter and job holder alike. Given today's uncertain economy, the smart employee is continually working to improve their personal brand, enhance their skills and have a marketable, well-written resume in their job hunting toolbox. 

Make the Most of Your Resume

Compelling resumes are more than just well-written and carefully proofed; a persuasive resume clearly articulates a candidate's strengths. Don't fall into the common resume trap of putting down a laundry list of jobs, rather carefully asses what information best highlights your strengths and sells you for the role you wish to fill.

What to Put in? What to Leave out?

When assessing your work history and successes, carefully examine each piece of information you are considering for your resume. If it sells you, keep it in; if its extraneous information, detracting from your overall message and branding, get rid of it. I like to think of this as "5-Whying" your resume.

The 5 Whys, which I've posted about in the past in Problem Solving with the 5 Whys is a useful business practice focused on reducing waste and improving quality. What better way to streamline and polish your resume?

So let's get started. Look at each bullet point or job description on your resume. Does it reflect well on you? Does it enhance your marketability? Distinguish you from the competition? Does each sentence "sell" you? Is it relevant to the position to which you are applying? If the answers to any of these questions is "no," the information either needs to be re-written or eliminated.

Consider 5-Whying your resume with a friend or a colleague. It's often difficult to assess ourselves or our work with dispassion and detachment. Ask your reader to apply the 5 Why's to your resume; this will help you gauge how another set of eyes perceive your resume and its persuasiveness.

For more information on how to decide what information should (and should not) be on your resume, I've collected the following useful resources:

What do you look for in an applicant's resume? Do you have tips for resume do's and don'ts? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers


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# Ana said on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:49 PM

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