Want an easier way to get noticed? Move Education to the bottom of your resume and Work Experience to the top. The strategy has everything to do with our economy today and will make your resume more effective time and again.
You are more than a degree
If you begin your resume with ‘Education,’ you sacrifice coveted space to, frankly, the least interesting part of your bio.
Then, the employer looks up from your piece of paper and says, “OK, so what do you know how to do?”
We are entrenched in a skills-based economy, and what really counts are your abilities. It doesn’t matter if you learned them at college, an internship, a full-time job or while babysitting your neighbor’s kids.
Employers want ‘em, and your resume must quickly prove you got ‘em.
The challenge in this hyper-ADD, 6-second Vine, 144-character tweet social universe is to immediately convince someone of your ‘specific contribution,’ as columnist Thomas Friedman calls it.
Start with the best stuff
In journalism, it’s called the ‘lead’ (or ‘lede’ if you want to be fancy about it). The ‘lead’ here is your current job and the most compelling duties or accomplishments you have mastered to date.
If you only have internships and not a ‘real job,’ it’s OK to start with those positions too. Be detailed about the work you did and let your experience — not your college — describe you. Bosses don’t care where your skills come from but only that you have them.
If an employer has to scan the page to find the goods (the ‘skills’), then you have effectively ‘buried the lead.’ That’s a journalism (and employment) no-no.
Don’t worry. The employer will locate your college and degree(s) at the bottom of the resume. Just realize that a diploma alone won’t make you different. Whether it’s a two-year associate’s, four-year bachelor’s or online coursework, plenty of people have graduated from somewhere.
You know what no one else can claim? Your diverse range of talents.
Crack open your resume right now and place Work Experience at the top. In today’s job market, your skills are the greatest thing you got.