Why You Shouldn't Put Education At The Top Of Your Resume
John Moore/Getty Images
That's the thinking of folks at LinkedIn, who recently announced you can use the professional network to apply for jobs - and you don't even need a resume.
Now, fire off a job application using your LinkedIn profile. (Click "Apply Now" on this job to see it in action.) Sounds pretty nice if you're applying in a hurry.
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.
Skills. Skills. Skills.
Employers want 'em, and your resume must quickly prove you got 'em.
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've mastered to date.
If you only have internships and not a "real job," it's OK to start with those positions. 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, only that you have them.
If an employer has to scan the page to find the goods (your skills), then you've effectively "buried the lead." That's a journalism (and employment) no-no.
Don't worry. An 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've got.
How else can you spruce up your resume?
This post originally appeared on News to Live By.
Danny Rubin is a PR professional in Virginia Beach. He also writes News To Live By, a blog that shows us the career advice that's hidden in the day's top stories. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.
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