Using 5S for a Stand-Out Résumé

Man working in solar wafer manufacturing facilityLike many couples, my husband and I talk about our respective fields a great deal. Quite often, he’ll throw out some terminology specific to his field of industrial management, and I’ll inquire to its meaning (being the curious type that I am). I end up learning many new things, really.

One such conversation we had was around something called 5S. In a nutshell, 5S is a method for organizing an area and keeping it organized in an effort to gain operational efficiencies. In thinking about this, it struck me how these steps could be used to get your résumé in shape and keep it ready for use at a moment’s notice.

Let’s look at those steps:

  1. Sort — In looking at your current résumé, determine what is necessary and what is not.  Is it filled with many listings of job duties rather than actual accomplishments?  Do you have any dinosaurs on there?  Keep what you need, and get rid of what you don’t.
  2. Set in Order — Putting things in their proper place will help you get the most out of your résumé.  Has it been several years since you graduated from college, or is your college degree in a field different than your line of work?  Put it toward the bottom of your résumé so that you can let your work experiences be among the first things that are seen.
  3. Shine — Your résumé should not be a rehashing of your day-to-day life on the job.  It should sparkle with your accomplishments and the value that you have brought to your positions!  Don’t forget to add any volunteer work you have done.  Demonstrating ways that you have given back to your community are always viewed positively by prospective employers.
  4. Standardize — This isn’t suggesting that you send out exactly the same résumé to everyone; there should be some slight variations based on what skills the company values most.  What should be standard, however, is your message.  Your personal branding and what you have to say about your core values should not vary.  To send different messages only causes confusion, especially if it conflicts with the message you have about yourself online.
  5. Sustain — After all that effort to get your résumé in order, you want to keep it that way!  Every six months or so, revisit it to provide updates such as new work positions, additional accomplishments, and more volunteer work.  While that may seem like the easy part, this fifth S is really the hardest because it doesn’t hold the same excitement as the big project of revamping your résumé.  It feels so routine and is easy to let slide.  Before you know it, years have passed since you last touched your résumé and you have a the big project of cleaning it up all over again.

Are there any other S’s that you would add to this list?

Image courtesy of OregonDOT

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