New Year! New Job? How to write your resume to get results
You have about 10 seconds to gain the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. Make those seconds count by following these 10 easy resume writing tips.
Resumes should begin with your name, address, email and phone number. Resumes are to highlight your education, accomplishments, awards, and chronology of work experience over a maximum of 15 years. Omit all hobbies, religious affiliations, and other non-work-related interests. Volunteer experience less than five years old may remain on the resume. Ideally, you should detail your responsibilities and accomplishments in three to five bullets. Summarize any short-term contract work.
SUMMARY & SKILLS
A summary is preferable to an objective. Use a summary at the top of your resume to consolidate your professional experiences. A skills section is essential to highlight your technical abilities.
AVOID FIRST-PERSON PRONOUNS
Words such as “I,” “me,” “my” and taking all the credit for everything may be viewed unfavorably and lacking in team spirit. As a general rule, start bullets like this:
- “Successfully delivered results on time and under budget resulting in an 80% savings for the firm.”
- “Accountable for driving aggressive sales and distribution throughout North America, generating $2M in annual revenue.”
LAYOUT: MARGINS & FONTS
Keep the resume to two pages maximum. If you have less than five years of experience, your resume should be one page. Typically, keep margins at 1 inch, but they can be narrowed to ½ inch when you have to fit more content. Use 10- to 12-point font.
REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
These four words are now considered obsolete as it’s assumed you will provide references if an offer is being considered.
Review resume for typos. Spelling errors are the surest way to be passed over by a prospective employer. Attention to detail should be your top priority. Ask a colleague to review your resume.
Make white space consistent throughout your resume. For example, use one or two blank lines between jobs or section headings. Overall, your resume should not look crammed in any particular section.
EMAIL ADDRESS AND THE TITLE
Your email should contain some variation of your name. This helps identify who you are when recruiters are responding to you. Using unsuitable names to identify yourself may raise questions regarding your credibility or judgement.
As a general rule, name your document using your first and last name. Because many candidates have multiple versions of their resumes, it is acceptable to add a month and year in the title. For example: John Smith January 2019.
EMAILING YOUR RESUME
When emailing your resume, make it easy for the recruiter to open the document by attaching it as a Microsoft Word file or PDF.
These 10 quick tips to writing your resume should get you recognized by a greater number of companies and recruiting agencies. Good luck in your job search!
StarStaff President and Headhunter Avery Plavin has been helping businesses expand their human capital for 20 years. She gathers insights into the organizations she serves — and has partnered with Fortune 100 companies, private entities, and smaller businesses to grow their market share. Avery helps clients prosper by providing competitive analysis, tools, expert resume writing, and resources to allow them to remain competitive in our ever-changing market.
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