A Good Resume Reflects Focus and Growth

By:  Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Associates (by permission)

Q.  My resume has gotten rather lengthy over the past few years.  I would like the help of a resume writing professional.  Any recommendations?  What can I expect to be charged?

A.  Revising resumes can be challenging.  For a professional with 15 years experience, a two-page is appropriate.  A recent college graduate should plan on one page.  Three pages or more can be acceptable for PhD’s, academics, and researchers.

You may decide to use a resume writer. But there are questions to be answered.  First, identify the target audience and target role.  What do you need to highlight?  Your goal is to make areas stand out that compel hiring managers to bring you in.

Next, edit older roles.  Start at the bottom of the experience section.  Review each line with a “So what? Will it matter to the hiring manager?”  Make sure you show growth in each job, a diversity of areas of success, and quantify as much as possible.  Follow this process with each position.  Your most recent job should have the greatest detail.

Your education also needs to be edited.  Unless you were number one in your class, no GPS’s are needed, other than at entry level positions.  Edit civic and voluntary activity for what they reveal about you.

A summary offers more information than an objective.  At the screening stage, employers are interested in how they can use your skills.

After you go through your resume, you may decide to work with a professional. ….. Ask for references. You can expect to pay $80 to $150 per hour, or $500 to $750 for packages that include resume writing and production.