September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023

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Ramp Up Your Resume, Using a Good Old-Fashioned Pie Chart

I have it on good authority that in France, what we call a pie chart is referred to as camembert; in China it is called a flatbread chart, and in Portugal, a pizza chart. Here in America, we love our pie chart almost as much as our pizza. I also think of it as the foundational starting point of a hardy resume.

Make yourself a RESUME PIE CHART… and with that, provide far greater clarity for the resume reader.

As a recruiter reviewing scads of resumes over the years, it was often unclear what a candidate’s job really entailed. What is the ikar of what you do? Where is your focus? Roughly how is your time spent?

On a resume, when employer and job title are followed by a long list of bullets, it’s hard to really wrap your head around the job and understand the role. To the resume writer, it is all very familiar, but to the resume reader, one can get lost. I have seen resumes simply listing 15-20 bullets.

The antidote recommended here will take a little time but can be the difference between a resume that is just OK and one that is great.

1. On a clean page, draw a big circle and within it create a three-section pie chart.

2. Now consider how you might divide your job into three big sections. (For example, an office management role might include purchasing, building maintenance and event management.)

3. Label each of the three pie-chart sections and create or move the relevant bullets under each one.

If each of your three sections has roughly the same number of bullets, that’s awesome, but it doesn’t always work out like that on the first pass, and you might have to rethink them. If one has seven bullets, one has five, and the last one has just one, that might indicate that the section with seven needs to itself be divided into two newly titled sections, and the section with just one bullet might not actually be a reasonable section on its own.

Once you have successfully labeled your pie chart, transfer the information over to your resume. You will have three sections underneath your job; they should be in order of importance. The bullets underneath each section should also be in order of importance. Studies indicate that a recruiter’s first glance at a resume is a snappy six seconds, so allow your areas of focus to stand out. Make the resume readers’ job easier and this will in turn make your resume more understandable and more memorable.

Contact Re-Launch Career Services at JFCS for assistance with resumes (and pie charts) and anything else related to career readiness and job search. Email [email protected] or call us at 201.837.9090.

Sandra Leshaw is the director of Re-Launch Career Services at Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey.

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