Before you start to write a resume, here are five things to do first. Your first thought when making a career transition might be “I need a resume”.”

You’re probably right, you do need one. But it’s going to easier to write if you do these five things before you write a resume.

First off, I’ll share this graphic to show you the difference between when you think you should write it, and when you should write the resume.


Five things to do before you write a resume Career Stories | Kerri Twigg resume writing

1. Before you write a resume, figure out what you want in your career and what you’re good at.

It is impossible to write a resume without knowing what you are good at and what points you are leading with. If you write a resume based on your previous job description, you are underselling yourself. You are more than a job description.

To learn how to figure out what you want and what you’re good at, buy these classes:

Do the 7-day Career Stories Challenge


The 7-day Career Stories challenge, based on Kerri Twigg' TEDx talk
Click here to get free access.


​Buy the Career Mapping MasterClass


2. Ask questions and talk with people.

There is a way to do this without sounding like a schlub. From experience, there are ways that people approach me which is a big turn-off. It feels like they learned their method by reading some book. It doesn’t feel authentic.

On the other hand, I have helped strangers just because of the way they approached me.

Before you write a resume, talk with people who are doing the kind of work you want to do. Connect with your network and listen for clues about how you might a company. This helps you learn about upcoming roles, but also about the words they use and the problems they need you to solve. This will make writing a resume easier.

3. Test and experiment.

Career decisions cannot be made with just your mind. They are made with your body too. When people hate their jobs they talk about physically. They say things, “it feels like it’s sucking my soul”, “my stomach is in knots all the time”, “I feel sick just thinking about seeing my boss.” So, you need to test things with your body, go beyond the assessments and become aware of how things feel. This might be doing a career experiment.

​In Adam Grant’s recent podcast on Authenticity and Careers, career research Herminia Ibarra spoke about the need to not only test careers, but also test how you want to show up on the job. You can try on different versions of yourself and see what works. If you find a way of being that feels better, you can embrace that when you write your career transition resume.

4. Exercise

The biggest game-changer in your career is exercising.

Make sure that you take body-breaks every day. It could be walking, yoga, boxing, tree-hanging, whatever. It builds in a break every day and helps relieve tension and stress. Also, when you show up for your interview you’re not an unhealthy being, you’re vibrant.

Daily exercise also trains you to take daily action. If you can build a habit of going for a daily walk, it becomes easier to make a phone call. The ripple effect of being active helps to support the rest of your career activity.

5. Think of your 10 possible selves

One of my favorite coaching exercises to lead is the Ten Possible Selves exercise. I recently taught it to other career coaches here and they saw some great break-throughs for their clients.

This exercise is part of the Searching from Your Roots course, a pre-job search program.


Once you have done these five things, then you can write your resume.

You’ll write your resume from a place of knowing — you’ll know your career stories, you’ll know what words your target industry uses and you’ll have tested out things to know what your job target is.

I believe everyone can write their own resume, if you want a process you can trust, that is enjoyable — join the resuMAY program.