- It’s an advertisement for you, not your autobiography. You want a particular job; your resume is your chance to call attention to you and what you’ve done. Write short, concise, organized paragraphs using bullets, so your experience and skills can be easily skimmed.
- No more than two pages. Some people believe resumes should be one page because they want to see a quick glimpse of you. While we don’t believe in one-page resumes, you must be careful to be specific, concise and to the point. You want the hiring manager to want to learn more about you. The first page of your resume is like a first impression and should have a strong impact on the reader.
- No gimmicks please. Gimmicks may get attention but they won’t make up for a sub-par resume.
- Formatting is important. It makes your resume easier to read/scan and it provides the reader with a road map to follow – all your titles, dates etc. will be in the same place. If you are submitting a resume online be careful of your margins. You don’t know how a computer scanner is set so leave at least a 1” margin all around. Since you don’t know the age or eyesight of the reader, use an easy type to typeface.
- Objectives are out, summaries are in. Unless you have specific objective and will only consider that type of job, use a career summary – a short concise pitch about you and what you have to offer. This is your ‘career highlights’ section with all of your high level accomplishments.
- Update, Update, Update. Each job is a little different. Before you send out a resume update or tweak it for each job position.
- Resumes are written in the third person and they are written in past tense. You may opt to put your current job in present tense but the rest is in past tense.
- A resume is a marketing tool. Use it that way. It’s the paper that shows what you have achieved to take you to the next step in your career. Be sure to include any community service, continuing education, and professional development or experience. Those extras could help put you on top of the pile.
- It is an example of your work. Your resume needs to be attractive and error free. It demonstrates your “attention to detail”, “quality of work”, etc. You can tell them you have excellent clerical skills, but if you have misspelled or incorrectly used a word, you are demonstrating just the opposite.
- Don’t lie. Titles, dates, compensation, education are all very easy to check.
- Computers are often the first readers of resumes. They will scan for keywords. It is important you use the keywords from and ad or job description in your resume. Otherwise, a human may never see your resume.
- References on request – this is a given. Don’t waste a line on your resume with it.
- Finally, paper is still important. Make sure you have a nicely printed
copy of your resume when you get your interview.