Girl Talk Career Blog

May 22, 2010

5 Steps to Building and Using a Resume Toolkit

Filed under: Resumes — lisalahey @ 4:44 am
Tags: , , , , ,

A resume toolkit is NOT a work portfolio although it can include one. You’ve heard the old resume advice to tailor your resume to the job description but have you ever written out a resume, submitted it and then realized you forgot something vital? That happens to a lot of people and its no wonder. You’re always re-writing and tailoring your resume (if you have resume savvy Girlfriend and I’m sure you do) but what about building a resume toolkit that lists absolutely everything you have going on in the way of learning, academia, skills and personal and professional experience? Try this experiment:

Step One

  1. List absolutely everything you have ever learned academically including institutions, years, your focus or major etc.
  2. Include additional certification and ongoing education or training.
  3. Include every employer you’ve ever had from the time you were in your teens and possibly baby-sitting for your week’s wages. That means even the bosses you hated and the ones who pink-slipped you. Why? You can list what you learned from the situation and even from that boss.
  4. Your hobbies, interests, talents, involvement in sports or theatre and so on.
  5. Add samples of your work and start creating a work portfolio.
  6. Scan diplomas, certificates, artwork, news articles, and anything else to do with you or that was done by you for your portfolio.
  7. Scan references, thank you letters that are related to both your work tasks and personal involvement so long as its appropriate.
  8. Volunteer work.
  9. Transferable skills.
  10. Anything else personal and/or professional is fair game.

Clearly this isn’t going out to any HR Manager under the sun. This is for your eyes only Girlfriend and it’s a fabulous resume toolkit when you’re stumped about how to describe awesome you when you’re going after a job you really want. If you take the time to sit in quiet and write out your all inclusive resume you will likely be astounded by how many positives you have to put in there. Then after you’ve done that include your family and BFF to add more information, including your attitude, times you have helped other people just because, your point of view on the world, things that you are impassioned about. These things matter.  Why?

Employers in all spheres, non-profit, corporate and public want people who have significant experience in their industries and they want people who are passionate about their work, not just looking for a job. Understandable. People who simply want a job get bored soon after they are hired. They aren’t creative or enthusiastic. They don’t look for projects or inititate anything useful to their employer. People who simply want a job take that job for granted and live for the weekend. People with jobs as opposed to careers show up, do their exact work within their precise job description and clock out at the end of the day, happy to have the evening to go home and veg in front of the television set.  They can take or leave their current employer. Those are people with jobs and without passion for what they do.

Girlfriend that is not you. You are a career-driven, cosmopolitan girl and you need to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd as much as you do.  By listing every unique aspect of you and your life both personally and professionally, as well as creating a work portfolio you have some serious leverage to start including into your portfolio. Of course you know that once you have gathered as much You information as you can that is only the first step in building your resume toolkit. Now you’re ready for:

 Step Two

Pick and choose what you need for the position you are currently interested in. Either you have found it on a job board, heard it from the grapevine or even been referred for it (awesome). Make a table or a chart if you like. List all of the qualifications required for that position on one side and your qualifications (no matter how far back in your personal history you demonstrated them) on the other. Do the same with the skills required for the position and all responsibilities. I can guarantee you if you’re drawn time and again to a specific job position you are going to have a plethora of matching qualifications and skills

Add additional skills and qualifications underneath the same category. For instance if the job calls for logistics management skills you will list all of your independent and managerial logistics experience and skills. You don’t have to just match one line for one line. 

Step Three

Time to bring up your qualifications and work history to as current a time period as you can. If the majority of your experiences and skills were developed earlier in your history but they are precise and relevant, leave them in. Anything that is not current and not as job specific, remove it. Once you’ve completed this step it’s time for:

Step Four

Have a friend look it over for you and see if you have included enough relevant material from your resume toolkit yet not an overwhelming amount. Be sure that any personal information you have added is strictly relevant to the industry, organization or job position. For instance if you are applying to a non-profit organization that works with volunteers you should include volunteer experience even if it isn’t the same type of volunteer experience your prospective employer offers. Why? Because you are demonstrating a passion for the industry and an understanding of the organization’s perspective. 

Part Five

Selecting pieces for your work portfolio is the final step in tailoring your brand new resume with the use of your resume toolkit. You may not need to include a work portfolio, sometimes it isn’t called for. Fine. But anyone in the sports and entertainment, fashion or modelling industry for instance should have a portfolio even if it only includes news articles boasting their achievements

It takes a lot of work to build a resume toolkit and a work portfolio but then again anything about you is bound to be time-consuming, introspective and more than worthwhile. You go Girlfriend!

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