You need an action plan to create an effective post-layoff resume; one that gets noticed. In this video, learn how to create a resume from scratch, review the various content and format options, and highlight your best qualifications. Follow these suggestions and, at the end of this course, you will have a current and official application resume.
- Very few people actually enjoy putting a resume together, but I happen to be one of those who do, so I'm excited to talk about crafting a post-layoff resume that showcases your skills and experience, and that's formatted in a way that employers will respond to. A well crafted resume shows employers that you are in the right mindset to get back to work, so let's get started. First things first, compile a complete resume. You'll want one long document that contains all of your experiences, educational degrees and certifications, volunteerism, professional associations, conferences, you name it.
Let's call this your historical resume. It's the base document from which we pull the most relevant information to create your new and improved current resume. One other important thing to include, your name and contact info right at the top. Include an e-mail address and a phone number with your area code. Your address is also fine to have, but the most important pieces are your e-mail and your phone number. If you have a LinkedIn profile, or other professional online portfolio, or summary of your work, include the URL here.
Now, let's put together your current and official application resume. This document should be changed for every job you apply to, but its basic formatting and its structure stays the same. Not sure how to format your resume? Please don't use a template like the ones offered on Microsoft Word. They make horrible use of the space, and they're difficult to maneuver after they've been filled out. Instead, do some research online for different resume formats, and mimic the one that you like. Or, ask friends or family for their help in putting one together.
In most cases, you'll want to organize your info in the following order. Summary of qualifications at the top, professional and volunteer experience next, and finally, your education or skills. Depending on which section is stronger for you, put the strongest one first. If you're lacking in education, but you have great technology and professional skills, you'll want the skills section on top. Otherwise, it's customary to put education and then skills. A summary of qualifications should be your first section.
You'll want four to five bullet points to highlight your most relevant skills and experience for the types of jobs that you apply to. You can update this section for each job that you apply to, because it helps employers focus on your best qualifications quickly. Then, your experience. This means including both paid and unpaid jobs, part-time, and full-time, employee and freelance, basically everything you've done. Depending on which career expert you ask, they'll tell you to limit the experiences that you show to the last 10 to 15 years.
The most important things to include for each experience are your title, the organization's name, and your key activities and accomplishments. Use numbers whenever possible, because quantified information is easy for employers to visualize and translate. When writing about your experience, use past-tense verbs to begin each bullet point for past jobs, and use present-tense verbs for present jobs. Your education and associations can be placed after experience, along with any other professional pursuits and skills.
Post-secondary education should be your focus, and all you'll need to list are your degrees or certifications, the college's name, and your graduation date. This section is also where you can list professional associations that you're active in. Having a skills section is really useful, especially if your industry requires certain technology or you have advanced knowledge in some areas. List things that are relevant to your field, like software programs, communication tools, fluency in languages, and transferable and soft skills.
Take a cue from the job description and what employers think are the most relevant skills. So, to recap, start with a complete resume and then build shorter, relevant resumes from it. Don't use pre-formatted resume templates. Instead, write it from scratch, or ask someone for help. Aside from myself, formatting and writing a resume is almost no one's idea of fun. Yes, the extra effort means you'll apply to fewer jobs, but your applications will be far more effective.
- Dealing with job loss
- Taking classes and building skills
- Volunteering to fill resume gaps
- Searching and applying for jobs
- Writing a better resume and cover letter
- Interviewing for your first job after a layoff