The details of your resume are vitally important, but for a moment, I’ll ask you to increase altitude to 30,000 feet and scan the horizon for the big picture. It’s important to organize your resume by major jobs held.
Treat your resume like your “professional life story.” Paint a self-portrait for hiring managers that makes them want to interview you. If your professional life is only four years old, then include greater detail on your resume than someone with 24 years experience. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: one resume page for every 10 years of work.
Recruiting managers will spend only a few seconds scanning your resume for important components and qualifications. If it’s riddled with extraneous information and you make them work to find it, your resume may very well be discarded. Tell your story in a cogent, organized manner to show how you’ve progressed.
- How did your responsibility increase with each job?
- How well did you do relative to your peers in each job?
- Can you organize sections of jobs in a readable, concise manner?
On that last point, attendance at military training schools is an area where you can consolidate. I recommend that you lump training into one section.
Right and Wrong Ways to Organize Your Training
May 2008 – Sep 2008
U.S. Naval Academy
Plebe Summer First Lieutenant
As stash ensign, ensured that all midshipman rooms were maintained in a professional manner.
Oct 2008 – Dec 2008
Naval Aviation Schools Command
Drove a van to transport midshipmen to the Naval
Aviation Schools Command.
Jan 2009 – Mar 2009
Naval Aviation Schools
Command – Pensacola, Fla.
Participated in land and water survival training and basic aerospace engineering and aviation navigation training.
Apr 2009 – Sep 2009
Graduated first of 24 students in the basic phase of flight school.
Oct 2009 – May 2010
Naval Air Training Unit
Randolph AFB, Texas
Graduated 5th of 30 students in the advanced phase of flight school.
Does the hiring company really need to know all those details and five sections to describe them? Remember, they’re just impressed that you completed the entire body of training. The minute details of your travels while there are unimportant. Here’s a better way to illustrate that same training in one resume bullet:
May 2008 – May 2010
Naval Aviation Training
Md., Fla. and Texas
As a naval aviation student, successfully completed land and water survival training, prisoner of war training and basic and advanced flight coursework through classroom, simulator and in-flight training.
Graduated first of 24 officers in basic phase and top 20 percent in advanced phase. Earned Navy wings of gold in May 2010.