Dear Bev: I haven't had to write a resume in years! Where do I begin?

Preparing your resume is just like putting together a marketing presentation. Except this time you're marketing the most important product you'll ever sell: YOU!

Most of the people I interview have experience in constructing and delivering presentations. Many begin with a boilerplate template, but it's always content that counts. The content is what gets the order, wins the client or at least scores an invitation back for the next meeting.

Some people deliver presentations verbatim, but most use them as a tool to guide talking points and provide logical information flow. Key information is highlighted and bullet points make for faster, easier reading.

Keep these principles top of mind as you start to develop your resume/self-marketing campaign.

You can fill your shelves with books on resume writing or read tips on countless blogs. There are endless resources on the topic. With over two decades of resume reading under my belt, I can confidently say, I have what employers are looking for in this document down to a science. Expect to see a few articles from me on the subject. This is the first and here's how I suggest you begin:



Make a List of Accomplishments

Don't simply note your job responsibilities; list what you did with those responsibilities - in other words, your accomplishments. Be as specific as possible. If you are, there's less chance you'll stumble when asked about year to date billing increases. You'll never have to use your fingers to silently count the number of direct reports you had three jobs ago and there won't be any wondering out loud what initiative you were most proud of. The more specific you are about what you've accomplished, the more confident you'll seem in the capabilities you're trying to sell.

Initially, of course, you may want to get some help. It's not a bad idea to sit down with a friend or loved one and talk through your list to see if it makes sense. Have you left something out, or put too much in. It's hard for many executives to "toot their own horn." They take accomplishments for granted as being just part of the job, but in this market there's no need to be too humble. Sell yourself with the confidence and tenacity you used in achieving each accomplishment you have listed.

You have your starting point. Now go to work. More on resumes next week.

Editor's note: If you have specific questions about your career in the media industry, please post them below, and Bev will help you out. Or if you feel uncomfortable posting your queries publicly, feel free to email Bev anonymously at

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