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If you are actively seeking a new role, chances are, you have spent a significant amount of time on your resume. And while it’s an important document, it’s only a small part of how you must effectively tell your story. Let’s put it in perspective.

Your resume is initially reviewed for about six seconds before someone makes a decision regarding your candidacy.  

Ask 10 people to review yours and you’ll get 12 opinions on how to change it. Many suggestions are helpful, and I always encourage candidates to follow the myriad of guidelines you can find in every job search advice column.

However, in my mind, a resume should simply accomplish three things:

  1. It should accurately reflect your education and experience as it relates to where you want to go. You don’t have to (nor should you) include EVERY SINGLE THING you’ve ever done. If you’re in a generalist communications role and want to focus more on brand management, highlight projects and activities that focus on that specific topic.
  2. It should answer more questions than it raises. (Don’t make me read between the lines.)
  3. It should compel me to want to have a conversation with you to learn more.

If you’ve done these three things, your resume is doing its job.