For a moment, imagine that your resume is the living room of your home. As your guests enter the room, you want them to immediately focus on those special artifacts that are the centerpieces of your room. The placement of the furniture must be mindfully placed so that they are noticeable and maximize their impact. You want to remove the chachkas, those knickknacks and gaudy items that Aunt Sarah gave you as an engagement gift, that clutter the surfaces, and are distractions. The appearance of the room is a clear and powerful representation of your persona. The design of the room embodies what you are most proud of; how you define yourself. You want it to be inviting; to draw your guests into your home.
Likewise, your resume represents who you are. It should draw in prospective employers. Continuing the metaphor, sometimes an interior designer is employed to maximize the result you desire. It’s okay to have an educational career coach help you feng shui your resume.
Here are tips that you should find helpful while you feng shui your resume so that it provides the right impact:
1. Less Is More—do not overwhelm the reader with superfluous verbiage
2. Focus on Accomplishments; Not a Job Description
3. Lead with Your Strengths (list first—catch attention)
4. Ignore Most Rules (omit objective; determine your own sequence of categories and timeline; keep format simple)
5. Start Bullet Statements with Action Verb (past tense)
6. Emphasize Accomplishments that Match Job Posting (strengths)
7. Wherever possible, quantify your accomplishments and the magnitude of your duties
8. Omit Irrelevant Jobs, Activities and/or Accomplishments unrelated to the position
9. Interests & Activities Can Capture Attention– acting, fitness enthusiast, interesting hobbies (visits to Presidents’ birth sites), cultural travel experiences, speak foreign languages
10. Feng Shui Your Resume—the order and placement of the content counts
11. Adapt Resume for Different Positions (elementary, middle or high school; affluent or blue-collar community; urban, urban-suburban, small town, rural)
12. Set Maximum Number of Bullets—current position no more than 10 bullets; prior positions 7-8 bullets
13. Sweat the Mechanics– spelling, subject-verb agreement, capitalization and punctuation; grammar; word selection; consistent format; readable font size
14. Use a Format that is Logical and Enhances Clarity
15. Cover Letter– 3-4 paragraphs always required but seldom read
16. References upon Request
17. Get Constructive Feedback from school leaders who review resume
18. Never Confuse or Mislead the Reader– clear timeline; short and simple sentences
19. Never Lie
20. TELL YOUR STORY
Dr. Larry Aronstein is a career coach who assists educational leaders, aspiring leaders, and teachers in preparing their resumes and prepping for interviews. Visit www.larryaronstein.com to find out about Dr. Aronstein’s services and ebooks. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org National and International clients are encouraged to seek assistance.