Are You Updating Your Resume?

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Pamela Chan, M.Ed/Editorial

If you are applying to jobs online, does your resume feature your work experience and educational achievements in a compelling way as your resume passes through the resume scraping process used by human resources departments? If you are hoping to improve the likelihood that your name will make an interview shortlist, you will want to present a strong and detailed resume that shows how you have both the essential and additional educational and work experience required for a job position.

Take Advantage of the STAR Method

As you review each of the line entries on your resume, one important tool you can deploy is to use the STAR method. STAR is an acronym that stands for situation, tasks, action and result.

Situation: Describe a situation that you faced as part of your current or past job positions. This might relate to a challenge or goal that you inherited when you started the position or one that developed while you were in the position. What were your responsibilities in this job position?

Task: Describe the tasks that you worked on in order to reach your goal, and describe which skills you used or developed during the process.

Actions: Describe the actions that you took – including the steps taken – in order to achieve your goal. How did you contribute towards your team’s effort?

Result: Describe the measurable results of your actions, include quantifiable information and use words such as “increase” and “decrease”. How did your efforts benefit the organization and what skills did you acquire? Why were your results meaningful? Did you provide a thorough enough description of the impact of your work, including specific information and not including buzz words? In an interview, you could also expand on the lessons that you learned while completing this work.

Providing concrete examples and taking a detailed approach to using the STAR method will make your resume more compelling to HR recruiters and will show why you would be a valuable employee. When you review each job description, you can choose to highlight a few important skills and professional characteristics under each title using bullet points. You can also apply this approach to descriptions of your experience in post secondary programmes and your philanthropic efforts within your community.

Before You Submit

While you are applying for a specific job, ensure that the digital copy of your resume that you are submitting includes the important key words and requirements mentioned in the job advertisement. Revisit the information that you added using the STAR method and determine which entries can be adjusted to use the language mentioned in the job advertisement. You can create a new version of your resume for each submission and you can create a new resume upload on LinkedIn for every new job application. When you send in a copy of your resume, convert your Word copy into a PDF format.

If you have found these tips useful, take a few extra minutes to watch Justin Su’s video below about the five resume mistakes that you don’t want to make.


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