In this ultra-competitive job market, your resume is the single most important asset you have for your job search.
What can you do to ensure your resume will help you generate interest and interviews? Here are some tips that recruiters here at Axelon, a national staffing company, provide to our candidates seeking job placement:
Include Appropriate Contact Information: This seems obvious, but I am always surprised at how many people neglect to include multiple points of contact. If a recruiter cannot easily contact you, you won’t be contacted. Include your full name, street address, city, state, and zip, home phone number, mobile number, and email address.
Highlight Your Objective(s): Your combined skills and experience make you a candidate for specific positions in your field. Make sure it is obvious the position(s) you seek. Add an objective, preferably with a headline, to ensure the recruiter can instantly make the connection.
You Don’t Need a Fancy Design: Keep your layout simple. Recruiters are looking for facts and stats, so colored backgrounds and design flourishes do not translate well. Also, in Word format, some recruiters may not have that fancy font you downloaded last night, throwing off your entire layout.
Include Resume Keywords: Remember, you are building your resume for humans and machines. Think of the keywords that define who you are as a worker, and that recruiters or hiring managers would enter into a search engine to find you. These generally focus on key skills, industries, credentials and certifications, as well as geography. (Try reading through various job descriptions to make sure you select the right keywords.)
Don’t Use Pronouns: There’s no “I” in resume, so don’t add one. While using pronouns such as “I” and “me” are grammatically correct in every other scenario, they usually come off as awkward and even boastful when used in a resume. Simply describe the role as a sentence fragment, and use plenty of bullets and concise blurbs.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: There are many things beyond your control in your job search, but ensuring the quality of your resume is not one of them. Nothing will sabotage your search faster than a resume littered with typos. Use the spellcheck feature on your computer, then read and re-read several times. I also advise you have someone else read your resume for accuracy, grammar and overall appeal.
Cooperate With Your Recruiter: If you were contacted by a staffing company or search firm, they have a vested interest in ensuring you succeed. Ask your recruiter for feedback and tailor your resume based on those insights.
Use Bullet Points for Clarity: Thick chunky paragraphs become hard to read when recruiters or hiring managers are reviewing multiple resumes. Boil down your key points, experiences, and groupings of skills and then organize them in bullets. The bullet format also helps you to be concise and stick to the facts.
Include Achievements and Data: Instead of simply listing responsibilities, specify what you accomplished in your role, with facts and figures. Data will go a long way in demonstrating your potential value to a recruiter or prospective employer, and make you stand out from other candidates with equal experience.
Skip the Glamor Shots: Unless you are submitting for an acting or modeling opportunity, do not feature a headshot anywhere in your resume, cover letter or supporting materials. In fact, some hiring managers may automatically dismiss resumes with headshots to avoid potential issues with Equal Employment Opportunity compliance.
Omit the Irrelevant: You may be a passionate political-activist-slash-wake-border-enthusiast, but those items should be left off your resume. Hobbies are almost never appropriate for a resume. However, if you do charity work of a non-political nature, you may want to include that to add an extra level of likability to your resume.
Keep it to 1 or 2 Pages: You may have an extensive array of projects and professional experiences to tout, but your resume has to be easily digestible. As you advance in your career, you may want to slice off earlier positions, or combine them to tighten up your resume into a concise, readable format. This is a basic rule of thumb. And if you need to go beyond, it should be because this extension is really meaningful and necessary to define your profile and experience.
List Positions: Let’s say you have been at the same company for years. To avoid a thin resume, itemize the positions you progressed through, or major projects you managed, to give a more accurate depiction of your previous successes.
Get a Professional Opinion: If you were sick, you would go to a doctor. If your resume is ailing, or just not generating interest, try a career counselor, or someone who is successful and articulate who can provide you with some pointers.
To contact Tania Obeid directly, please email Tania@axelon.com.
To learn more about this topic or to request a consultation and explore how Axelon can provide your organization with more high-quality candidates faster than any other contingent workforce provider, call us 877.711.8700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.