Writing your resume
- There are many different types of resume, the most common and best is the “reverse chronological”. This is one where you list your most recent experience first.
- Your resume is not just a list of your job history. It is a marketing document, a sales tool for you to sell yourself to potential employers.
- Every time you send your resume out, you want to highlight the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to that specific job that you are applying for.
- Keep a list of resumes on your computer. Keep all the information you’ve ever included on a resume in this list: all your old positions, bullet points, special projects and so on. You don’t want all these on every resume but when you are writing a new resume for a job you can cut and paste what sections you need.
- Don’t write about every single thing you did at your job. You need to tell a specific story,so pick out the accomplishments and skills that say why you are great for the job you are applying for.
- Don’t ramble. More important than resume length is how relevant it is to the employer. Tell a hiring manager why they should interview you, show them you can do the job
- Highlight your best and most relevant accomplishments for them in solid well defined terms: you increased revenue by X%, Cut costs by X amount, and so on. Give detailed and specific numbers.
- DO NOT LIE. You will be discovered and blacklisted forever by that company.
- Unless asked to DO NOT send a paper resume. Hiring managers will think you are not up to date or professional.
- Have your e-mail at the top of your resume. It’s easier to see and easier to reply to you if they don’t have to look for it.
- Your email MUST BE a professional one. If your email address is some silly, a funny name or a family one they will assume you are not a professional.
- Don’t include distracting visual elements. Studies show that visual elements reducea recruiters’ analytical capability and hinder decision-making”. It also stops them from seeing the most relevant information, like your skills and relevant experience.
Tell your story or why your are suitable for a role
- Don’t just make your resume a list of your job history. Make it a sales document for you! Selling you as the perfect candidate.
- Make sure your most relevant experience and skill are clearly visible in the top third of your resume. This top section is what people are going to see first.
- DO NOT include any kind of statement at the top of your resume. It’s a very dated thing to do, it takes up too much valuable space, and recruiters don’t believe it anyway!
Work Experience or Career History
- Only show the last 10-15 years of your career history and only include experience relevant to the position for which you are applying to right now. Keep the rest in your template on your computer.
- Even if you’ve been in a job for 10 years, don’t have more than 6 to 7 bullet points under each job. Even if the extra 10 points are great, recruiters won’t read them.
- Allocate space on your resume in relation to importance. If you have to choose between including another college internship or stating in more detail about your current role, always choose the current role.
- The only exception to the above is if a previous job was more relevant to the one for which you’re applying to today.
- Make sure each bullet point is understandable to the average person. Remember that the people who see your resume might be a recruiter or an assistant who don’t understand the job and you want to be sure that they can understand it and that the key words are clearly visible
- State facts, figures and numbers in your bullet points. Quantify your success in hard numbers.
- Take each key statement further by adding what the benefit was to your company. Do this and you communicate both what you’re capable of and the direct benefit to hiring you.
- If you have participated in volunteer work, worked part-time or freelanced then list these as normal jobs, it will show your extra experience and outside skills.
- Present yourself as a high performer. You should do this by using phrases like, “Invited to…” or “Recognized for…” or “Promoted to…” or “Known for….”
- Use keywords in your resume: Look at the job description, find the words that are used most often and make include them.
- Don’t have the same phrases as everyone else,“Detail-oriented”, “experienced”, and “people person”—these terms are overused and recruiters don’t even read them anymore.
- Put your education after your experience. Your most recent jobs are more important and relevant to you getting the job than where you went to college is.
- List your educational background with the most recent and advanced degrees first.
- Graduate from college with high honors? Great list your grade on your resume.
Skills, Awards, and Interests
- If you have many of the skills required for a position then list these at the top in a separate section.
- Have an “Interests” section at the bottom of your resume if you can add things that are relevant to the job.
Breaks and Other Tricky Situations
- If you were only in a job for a few months then consider removing it from your resume.
- If you have gaps of a few months in your work history, don’t list them
- If you’ve changed jobs frequently then you must include the reasons for leavingin your resume next to each position. Explain why: “company closed,” “layoff due to downsizing,” or “relocated to new city.” By saying why there are gaps you makemake it less of an issue.
- Make sure your resume has no typos.
- Spell check and grammar check
- Ask family or friends to take a look at it for you
- If you’re applying online then use a word .doc and plain resume formatting in a normal font like Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman
- Save your document as “Your Name Resume”
- Update your resume every time you have a new job or achieve something at work.