The Cure to the Common Resume

The Cure to the Common Resume

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"Resume: a written exaggeration of only the good things a person has done in the past, as well as a wish list of the qualities a person would like to have."- Bo Bennett

Resumes are a tricky business, your cover letter can grab a readers attention, but without a quality resume to back it up it won't do you much good. You want your resume to stand out, but then again, there's always the chance that if you go too crazy on the design, employers might be distracted. It's very likely that your resume will only get 20 second glance, so make those seconds count.

Even if you manage to find a design that's both professional, but still "You" it needs to be filled with content. Suddenly being able to take notes with your eyes closed after another all-nighter doesn't seem like the most relevant skill after all. You panic as you search a thesaurus in hopes of not having to use the words "excellent" or "team player" for the 50th time. Some employers even use scanning software to pin point keywords, so having the right vocabulary is a must!

We understand the dilemma, we've all been there, and now we're here to help you.  The key is all in utilizing your transferable skills. Believe it or not, all those hours serving up burgers and arguing about team projects really do provide resume fodder. Worked the till at McDonalds? You "serviced customers in a friendly and efficient manner, while maintaining the standards set forth by the company, ensuring a pleasant dining experience." How about taking control of that group project the night before it was due?  "using effective communication strategies you led a diverse team, under strict time restrictions to the successful completion of project objectives."

That sounded pretty darn impressive. The OLC is full of resources that will shape your old high school resume into something you'll be proud to say represents you, so go have a look around.

Remember though, there's a difference between talking yourself up and straight up lying. The world, is smaller than you think, especially with the internet. It's easier than ever for employers to catch you in an embellishment. Don't do it. If you take our advice, you won't even feel the need to try.

What do find most challenging when updating your resume?  Share your thoughts in the comments below:

Posted on September 16, 2011
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