Bragging on yourself and writing your resume can be tough. It’s hard to know exactly what to include and what to leave off. This leads many people to check out their friends’ or colleagues’ resumes, or go online and search for samples. While that is perfectly fine to get some ideas, beware of trying to mimic exactly what you see.

Maybe your friend’s resume landed them a job almost immediately, but that was likely due to more factors than just a stellar resume. They may have already had connections or outshined the competition during the interview process. Trying to make your resume look just like theirs may not yield the same results. Instead, focus on creating a resume that showcases who you are.

  • Combine ideas. Look at different resumes you like, then pick and choose elements to put in your own resume. Maybe you really like the layout of one, the font of another, and the headings of a third. Maybe having a section for technical competencies like your friend had doesn’t make sense for you and you’re struggling to find skills to put there – then leave it off.
  • Don’t add fluff. Resist the temptation to add extra information just to make your resume look more impressive. Think quality over quantity. If you can only think of two strong bullet points for that job you had, then it is what it is. Don’t start listing menial tasks just to fill up more space.
  • Be honest. Lying on your resume is never a good choice. Hiring managers have more resources than ever at their fingertips, and they’re usually pretty quick to spot things that don’t add up. Avoid exaggerating the truth or adding skills you don’t quite have in an effort to compete with what others have on their resumes.
  • Showcase who you are. Use your summary of qualifications section to really emphasize what you bring to the table, and why you would be a good fit at the company. Your friend may have a powerful summary, but it’s about them and what they’ve done. Trying to replicate that by changing a few words or accomplishments probably isn’t doing you much justice.

Remember that everyone’s life and career path are different. Just because you don’t have as many promotions or awards as someone else, or you’ve held fewer or more jobs than they have doesn’t mean your resume can’t be just as effective. Use examples for inspiration, but don’t let them become the be all end all of what you do where you feel as though you have to fill in every box and bullet point. Make your resume your own. And don’t forget – your resume is a fluid document, so if you feel something isn’t working, change it.

If you’re struggling to write your resume and aren’t sure where to start or what to include, the team at Grammar Chic is here to help. We’ll work with you to craft a resume that represents who you are and what you have to offer. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or to get started.