Your resume is a marketing tool that lists a summary of your qualifications for employment. It will typically let the reader know what type of position you are seeking and will highlight your education, experience, skills and other relevant information. The best way to determine what should be included on your resume is to ask yourself what the potential employer would want to know about you to consider you for the position.
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- Experienced job seekers should include a Profile or Summary of Qualifications at the top of their resume, with 4-6 bullets or phrases highlighting the skills and traits that would be of interest to the specific employer.
- List Duties and Skills when possible.
- Use the present tense of verbs to describe duties in your current job.
- Use the past tense when describing duties from previous jobs.
- It looks best to have your name in bold, a couple of sizes larger than the body of the resume.
- Your address, telephone number and e-mail address should not be larger or in bold.
- Consider eliminating your middle name or initial from your resume for easier name recognition.
RESUME IS A MARKETING TOOL:
- Importance of the First Page – Focus on Appearance and Fluidity to capture the audience.
- List the most important information/Highlights below your contact information.
- Top third of the resume (the make or break section, replaces the old cover letter, this is your elevator pitch; where the reader decides whether they want to learn more).
Things to consider:
- Best attribute, what sets you apart from your peers.
- The skills you are most confident with, working with recently and most relevant to the opportunity you are targeting.
- Notable resources you bring to the table.
- Sell yourself here, but don’t embellish.
- Most companies don’t read past the first page when deciding who to include or exclude from interviews.
SIMPLIFY THE RESUME:
- Word the resume so that nontechnical readers can understand. Strive for a balance between language that an employer will expect and information that someone outside that work field will appreciate.
- Don’t over complicate the resume with industry terminology that loses the reader. Show that your skills are transferrable to all industries (unless specific to the job description).
Resume MISTAKES to avoid
- Failing to tailor the resume to the job description. Do not send the same resume to every company. In the past, cover letters were targeted to companies. Tailor the top portion of your resume.
- Do not rely solely on spell check & failing to proofread – Make sure dates are consistent; fonts are consistent; bullets are not out of place. Typos are the number one disqualifier of resumes.
- Misspelling product names.
- (Management/Project Management) - Fail to quantify achievements in dollar amounts, percentages or other numbers. Achievements without numbers don't stack up well against those that are backed up with numbers in competitive résumés.
- Limiting the resume to one page – Most resumes should be in the 2-4 page range.
- Too much information on past jobs – Companies are interested in what you have been doing the past 3-5 years. Beyond that they are looking at titles, companies, tenure and career progression.
- Failing to Highlight relevant industry certifications and advanced degrees on the first page.
- Listing addresses and phone numbers for employers. Only list name, city and state for employers and schools.
- Don’t start with an objective. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t like them because they focus on the needs of the job seeker rather than the needs of the potential employer. Instead of an objective, try using a positioning statement that clearly and concisely explains what you have to offer.
- Don’t provide a laundry list of responsibilities without showing what results you achieved. An effective resume summarizes job responsibilities in a few sentences and then provides details of quantifiable achievements.
- Don’t mention experiences and accomplishments that have nothing to do with your career goals. Don’t include outdated skills or computer knowledge. Also avoid including personal information. Don’t detail your marital status, age or the number of children you have. Don’t mention non-professional affiliations such as political or religious volunteer work unless it directly relates to the position for which you are applying.