Please take these tips to heart; if after reading this, you feel as though your creativity has been squandered, remember that you always have a cover letter.
Your resume is only part of getting a job, but it’s a significant part. Understand that your resume is (in most cases) what gets you the interview. You spend hours, and sometimes money, compiling information for the perfect resume. I spend about 15-30 seconds before I reject it. Here is why:
The majority of the time, this will hurt you more than help you. If you target it to the exact job, it seems like you are copying and pasting. If you have a vague statement, it seems like you are too lazy to tailor it. If you say what you want, i.e. room for professional growth, you are cookie-cutter. You can’t win for losing. I’d say about 2% of the resumes I look at have worthy objective statements; unless you are that 2% just drop it.
Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard cursing across the office, only to find out a recruiter was trying to format your table-intense resume?
Get rid of any tables in your resume - NOW. Oh. My. Gosh. Formatting nightmare. This is especially true if you are working with an agency. More often than not the tables don’t convert between systems (including job boards) and then your resume just looks funny. Keep it simple. Besides, we staffing folk usually reformat your resume anyway, and the tables just irk us.
And while you’re at it, get rid of any paragraphs. I’m already tired of reading. Bullet your responsibilities, it keeps me interested and has better flow. A quick summary at the top of the position summary, 2 to 3 sentences MAX, is fine; anything over that will have your resume reviewer snoring.
BONUS: Only use one font. Common sense? Apparently not.
No. JUST NO. Any questions?
Unless the position requires 20+ years, keep your experience to the last 10-15. If your only relevant experience is beyond that threshold, chances are you aren’t getting the job anyway. When you apply for a VP of Finance Communications job, your customer service experience from 1990 isn’t really going to give you an edge. If you still feel it’s important, add a simple line at bottom of your experience section. I.e. “Held various customer service and management roles from 1990-2000. Additional information available upon request”
I LOVE when candidates have links to the social media sites on their resume. No seriously. But please, make sure it’s up to date, professional, etc. If you want to be a social media manager, and I see you have 54 LinkedIn connections, it won’t bode well for you; same for dates/titles matching up between your resume and the sites.
Last but not least, BE HONEST! A recruiter on the hunt can find out more about you than a private investigator with government security access. Ok, that may be extreme, but you get the point. We know people you know, we have contacts at your past employers and we can do google-hack searches that are out of this world. If you fib, we will find out, and even if it’s a “white lie” your resume will be kicked to the curb and you will be brandished with a red flag.
*Stay away from these faux pas and you may just get an interview request!
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