Ten Things To Remember When Writing Your Resume (Part 2)

In our previous article in this series, we began discussing several thoughts to consider when working on your resume, as you transition from a government or military position. Here are three more crucial tips:

1. That Security Clearance Is GOLD. Don’t Hide It!

Whether or not you have an active security clearance is the first hurdle you cross when your resume is reviewed. If you have an active security clearance, don’t hide it in the body of your resume, that clearance is often more important than your name! For that reason, you should put it in the header portion of your Word document in addition to a prominent position in the body of your resume, so it will stand out and grab that recruiter’s attention. Make sure you delineate what type of clearance you have and its current status.

2. Your Resume Is A Marketing Tool. Not Your Laundry List.

If you were to visit a car dealership, a salesperson might hand you a beautiful, glossy, colorful brochure with hi-res pictures on thick-weight paper. The pictures would be of beautiful leather interior, a fancy console, and shiny chrome. The wording would highlight all the benefits this wonderful new vehicle will bring to your life.

The goal of that brochure is to convince you to fall in love with this car and purchase it. (It is important to note, however, that the car salesperson is not giving you the thick dry-text owner’s manual.)

This is how you must think of your resume. Your resume is that beautiful, glossy brochure that will make a recruiter want to pick up the phone and call you. It must convince them that they need to interview you immediately. Your resume is not the laundry list of everything you have ever done and every responsibility you have ever had. It is a marketing tool that helps your salesman (you) help sell your product –You.

3. Get To The Point.

Remember in our previous series article, we discussed that less is more. To keep your resume to two pages, you need to prioritize, focusing on what is most important to your future boss, not your last boss. It is also not even what you personally think is important.

Often, I will hear a job seeker say, “if only they knew I did X, I would get hired tomorrow.” My reply is always, “Well, did you tell them?” It is your responsibility to make sure they get the information they need to make their decision. What is it they need to know about each one of the positions on your resume that would make that recruiter pick up the phone right now and call you?

Our next post in this series will cover more tips to help you move toward resume success!

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Not only the trailing spouse of a US State Department Foreign Service Officer, Julie Mendez once also held a clearance and served as the Community Liaison Office Coordinator at the US Embassy in Rome, Italy. Now a Career Coach and Certified Job Search Specialist with JSM Career Coaching, Julie Mendez serves as the lead Career Coach at ClearanceJobs.com’s “UnCareer-Fair” events. She believes her calling is to aid clients in finding fulfilling work that utilizes their unique talents. Julie Mendez can be reached at www.jsmcarercoaching.com and JulieMendez@jsmcareercoaching.com.