I am mentoring a Millennial. A passionate, vibrant young professional who is currently spending a year volunteering with a national not for profit organization. As with most of us she has dreams, hopes and aspirations, and like all of us at the start of a new career, not a whole lot of experience to demonstrate… or does she?
A common challenge for many of us when starting our careers is how to make your resume appealing to others when you don’t have years of experience. However, this isn’t just limited to Millennials.Whether you are a millennial in the starting blocks, or a baby boomer looking to change careers here a few tips to help you write a resume that gets you the interview:
- Work your network. Talk to people in the role or industry you want to join. Find out how they define success, what they see are the critical skills needed. Ask for introductions and recommendations to help open doors.
- Rework your experience. Showcase your experience whether it’s volunteer work, classroom studies, or a part-time role you had while at school. Show the results you achieved and link these to the job description you are applying for.
- Include a headline paragraph. This is not a purpose statement along the lines of “get a job” instead think of it as your personal branding statement. This will make it more meaningful and help someone who doesn’t know you piece together the different experiences you have had in the past and what you are wanting to achieve for the future.
- Check spelling and grammar. It may seem obvious but proofread your resume several times. A resume is not a text message, you need to demonstrate your command of spoken and written word. You would be surprised how often email addresses and names are miss-spelled.
Remember – the purpose of your Resume is to attract attention and get you the interview. Keep it short (2-3 pages max.), relevant and fact based.
During the Interview:
- Prepare. Know who you are meeting, when and where. Most importantly, spend a little time on the internet researching the company. You need to know what they do and the services or products they provide.
- Prepare. (you’ll notice a pattern here!). Role play the interview with a friend or family member. Get used to anticipating the questions you might be asked and how you will respond. Identify 2-3 questions you can ask of the interviewer that demonstrates your interest in the role and company.
- Learn. After your interview take a few minutes to think about what went well and what you would do differently. That way when you attend your next interview you will be more confident and able to showcase your talents.
The purpose of the interview is get the job; to demonstrate how you can add value to the team and manager who is considering hiring you. The interview is the time to provide more examples and showcase your talents and experience.
As for my mentee, as we explored her volunteer experience and previous roles we found a wealth of leadership, coaching and communication experience that demonstrated results and impact that any employer would be eager to hire for.