How To: Build a “Beyond Resume”

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Even before you have decided to relocate your skills to another workplace, you should have your resume ready to go. The decision to change your career direction or your workplace can sometimes come quickly and without warning. By keeping your resume updated consistently, you ensure that you are always ready at a moment’s notice to make your transition as smooth as possible. You don’t just want to have a resume ready. You need to make sure it also stands out above and beyond the rest. Let’s discuss a few tips that will help you create your “beyond resume!”

Before we go through each tip for building an impressive resume, remember that you are marketing yourself as if you were a brand of your own. Keep this in mind throughout the entire resume-building process to tell your story as a professional.

Make Your Resume Unique to the Specific Position You Are Applying For

According to career expert Jason Hill, founder of Sound Advice Careers, “One of the most common resume mistakes … is creating one single resume and sending it out to every hiring company they can find.” Understand what the company is looking for within the job description and display those details in your resume. Customizing your resume may be time-consuming for each job application, but it will make you stand out. Once you know the specifics this position is looking for, include a skills summary at the top of your resume that applies.

Incorporate Position Specific Keywords and Proactive Action Verbs

Did you know resumes are rarely viewed by people during the beginning review process? Niquenya Collins, president and CEO of Building Bridges Consulting, explains, “Instead, a computerized Applicant Tracking System (ATS) takes the first crack at narrowing the hundreds of applications received by every job announcement.” The ATS does so by choosing specific keywords and phrases matching the job description. When you write the bullet points under each position you have had in the past, describe your achievements at each company, not simply your job description, and use data when possible. In the description of your accomplishments, try not to use the bland wording “responsible for.” Use corrective action verbs to describe your past position better. Consider using this article from to find the perfect action verb to describe your specific contribution to a past employer.

Layout Your Resume Properly

If you are a professional who has been in the workforce for several years, always place your experience section before the education section in your resume. Employers do not generally care where you receive an education when looking for a seasoned professional. It also helps the employer see your work timeline if it is in reverse chronological order.

Keep Your Resume Pristine and Uncluttered

To stand out, you will need a resume that will keep the employer’s attention, which is usually short. A clean resume will have a simple font, like Arial or Times New Roman, and is only one page long. It is no longer necessary to put an objective statement at the top of your resume. Employers generally will not care what type of job you want. They care about the person they are looking to hire. It is also possible to make the resume shorter by leaving out skills you have that the recruiter does not specifically want.

Proofread And Ask for a Fresh Set of Eyes

Just like when you would write an essay in school, make sure you read your resume over once for consistent design, once for grammar, spelling, and word choice, and once more for accuracy if you have any specific information you may have included. Once you have proofread your resume, ask a friend or coworker or someone you can trust to be honest, and ask for detailed feedback.

Last but not least is the “beyond” part of your resume. An article on LinkedIn saying, “New Survey Reveals 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking,” gave professionals proof that who you know is important. One of the best ways to network, especially during a global pandemic when most of the workforce takes place digitally, is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and utilized to make connections. You can find more tips by visiting the blog posted on entitled 14 Tips for Writing a Rockstar Resume. Happy job hunting!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer