Your resume is either your key to unlock the door to your dream job, or the roadblock that will prohibit you from attaining it.
We consistently see strong candidates with weak resumes, and occasionally we will see a relatively weak candidate, with a deceptively stellar resume.
With that in mind, we thought it may be helpful to create an infographic, offering 10 awesome tips for writing the ideal resume.
With today’s technology, the average recruiter receives more than 200 resumes every single day for jobs that exceed $100k in base pay. We are inundated with resumes, and do not have a lot of time to read each one fully prior to making a decision on whether to file it away for later, or to look at it more closely in the hope that you are ‘the one’ we are hoping and praying will cross our desk and make our clients jump for joy.
Going on the premise that it never gets better than interviewing and dating, we all assume that you are putting your BEST foot forward, in the interviewing and initially the resume stage. Therefore, there is no room for error in the basics.
Misspellings are unforgivable. Having an unprofessional email address? Not so bright. Just today, I received a resume for a high level role, with the email address of ‘fancy pants’. You can guess what happened to that one. For job history, I think it is always smart to put a brief note explaining why you moved on…was it for a better role, because a spouse relocated, etc. ? Job hoppers are notorious for interviewing well but not being able to sustain the fireworks, so we all shy away from someone that has moved around a lot.
Speaking of which, I strongly encourage people to think long and hard prior to making a job change. If you do need to make a change, list the reason why on your resume. If you have moved twice in the past 6 years and are looking to make a move again, there better be a compelling reason for those changes. If not, you will be considered a job hopper, and it will be virtually impossible to get someone to believe that this time around, things will be different. Lightening does not strike twice, and when we see consistent movement, we are not comfortable betting the farm that for our role, you will be a long term match.
Again focusing on the basics, make sure that all your fonts and headlines are in line and consistent, and make sure it is esthetically pleasing.
Invest the money in having your resume professionally written. Trust me, that will be the best money you will ever spend, in terms of your job search. Without a good resume, you will never have the chance to get your foot in the door, and wow the hiring manager with all of your dazzling attributes.
KEYWORDS. Keywords are the magic keys to the kingdom . With everyone using ATS’s …(applicant tracking systems) these days, in order to track the multitude of candidates that come in on a daily basis, we rely on system generated key word matches to alert us to potential matches. You will want to take a look at the job you are applying to, and then tweak your resume when appropriate to include some of those keywords.
If your job specifications require specific degrees and certifications, and you have them, list them! Obviously you need to be honest, since lying is a sure fire way not only to have you thrown out of the interview process, but will also be duly noted in everyone’s aforementioned ATS, labeling you as an untruthful candidate, who is then never considered, for anything.
Focusing on adding keyword matches, that are truly reflective of your experience while mirroring what the company says they need, is the key to increasing your ‘key word score’.
It is imperative that you include if not your entire address, at the very least your city and state at the top of your resume. We consistently receive resumes with simply a name and email address, with no location, When queried, the standard response is that they are open to relocate anywhere for the right job. The problem with that reasoning, is that we need a baseline location to start from. Most companies want a local search done first, prior to expanding the geographic region of the search. By neglecting to put your current location, chances are you will not even be entered into the database.
It is also always smart to say on the bottom of your resume that Excellent References are available, upon request. Don’t list your references name and contact information prior to being seriously considered for a role, since you want to honor everyone’s time and do not want your former supervisors to be inundated with calls that may not even be connected with you.
Customizing your OBJECTIVE to match what you are applying for always wins points. It is tough to get excited about a candidate whose stated objective is to work in a role that is vastly different than the one that is being applied for.
Personally I think it is crazy to worry about keeping your resume to 1 page. Obviously no one wants a novel, but if you have pertinent career experience and can outline it in a concise manner and it runs into 2 or 3 pages, I see no problem with that and in 23 years of executive search, have yet to hear a client complain about the length of a well written resume.
For hobbies and interests, be truthful, but also be cognizant of the job you are applying for. We all have intrinsic motivators, and people typically excel in jobs that they enjoy. Therefore, if you are applying for a Director of Library Services and list historical research as a hobby, all the better. However, if you are applying for a role as an Air Traffic Controller, and list shark diving and ‘parkuor enthusiast’ as your hobbies, characterizing yourself as an adrenaline junkie may not be in your best interest.
One final tip is to change the subject line when applying for a job. When simply hitting Reply, we get the same subject line, 200 times a day. Yes the percentage match will vary, but the subject line will remain the same. Change it up by saying something like “Your Search For A VP of Sales is Over!” Anything that makes you stand out in a positive way, is a good thing.
Follow all these steps, and you will be head and shoulders above the majority of the job seekers vying for the same jobs as you.
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