Career Corner – Resume Development Part II

By Jenn Reichelt, Associate, The Novak Consulting Group

Welcome back to Career Corner! In this second of a two-part article, we’re focusing on resume development. As a reminder, your resume is your opportunity to make a good first impression. It should have a clean and easy to read format, include your contact information, tell your story, and be the appropriate length based on your career history. Missed the last article or need a refresher? Part I can be viewed HERE.

Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind while refining and updating your resume.

The Details – In local government circles, providing a brief description of the community, organization, and department in which you’ve worked can be helpful. Include details such as the population, number of employees, and annual budget. This provides context for each position and organization.

Include credentials, certifications, and special training but don’t attach or list every training you have attended. Think of the space on your resume as valuable real estate and use it wisely. Attending a conference or seminar probably lacks the wow factor of showing that you are a Credentialed Manager, or you have received a state or national award. Also, note any special skills – fluency in another language is a hot commodity and should be noted on your resume.

Education – List your higher education information on your resume (degree and university) but exclude your graduation date and GPA. The reader is interested in the fact that you have a degree, not the when. By sharing this information, you may inadvertently disclose your age. If you graduated with honors, include it. Don’t be coy about attending graduate school but not completing it – be clear if you have a degree or don’t. Leave off information about your high school.

Accuracy – Errors can be glaring and reflect on your attention to detail as a potential employee. Ask trusted advisors to proofread, edit, and comment on your resume. They can provide feedback on format and readability.

Update Frequently – A current resume makes it easier to apply for the perfect job when you find it, so it’s essential that you update it regularly.

Reminders – Trends with resumes ebb and flow. What was popular a decade ago may be irrelevant today. For example, if you still have a profile or summary statement at the top of your resume, it may be time to remove it. Save the space on your resume and address that in your cover letter.

Remember, this article includes suggestions and opinions as it relates to resume writing and development, but it is always good to seek out other ideas as well.

Over the next few months, the Career Corner will provide you with useful career advice such as the importance of a well-drafted cover letter (yes, you need one), tips on how to rock your interview, and what to do once you are offered your dream job. These strategies will help you successfully navigate the job search process.


Jenn Reichelt has 16 years of experience in local government management, most recently as deputy city manager for the City of Great Falls, Montana. Prior to her time in Montana, she worked for the City of Glendale, Arizona for 10 years.

Jenn joined The Novak Consultant Group in June 2016 and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the areas of human resources management and labor management. She is adept in collective bargaining, mediation, fact-finding, and arbitration processes. Jenn has a strong background in community engagement, public outreach, and media relations, as well as crisis and emergency management. She is skilled at working with diverse stakeholders and building consensus.

Jenn earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Arizona University. She is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and a graduate of Leadership ICMA and the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Senior Executive Institute.