Straightforward Advice on Writing an Awesome Resume
10 Resume Tips and Improvements to Create a Better Resume:
Tip 1: Size does not always matter. Here is the thing about the “one page rule” — it is not always the case. If you are just coming out of school and searching for an entry level position, keeping it to one page is a good bet. If you have tons of relevant (and recent) experience, and it requires two pages to list it, then pat yourself on the back for having had such a great career and list it all. Whatever you do, do NOT reduce the font size to the point where you can no longer read it just to make it fit on one page. If your resume is really long, consider making two resumes, one short and one long. Bring the long one to the interview. 😉
Tip 2: Of course, references are available upon request. It is considered obvious that if you ask someone for references, they will be able to provide them. Including this phrase on a resume may make for pretty design but it is generally fluff. If you need the extra space, this is something you can go ahead and cut. Also, make sure the people you list as your references know that you have listed them. Take advantage of the conversation and have them review your resume as well. They will likely be able to point out aspects of your experience that you have overlooked.
Tip 3: It is not just about you. If you have decided to include an Objective on your resume, understand that employers are not interested in simply providing you “gainful employment.” Phrase your objective in such a way that shows how you can add value to their cause. More importantly, objectives are important if you are trying to change career paths. If you are not the perfect fit, the objective is your chance to state your case. That being said, objectives should also be specific to the position. Concentrate on how you can be of benefit to the organization.
Tip 4: Do not get too personal. Many people are tempted to include pictures and family details on their resume. This is becoming more and more popular as folks start moving their resumes online. Here is the thing, in the United States many recruiters and employers shy away from people with such details (and from the websites that host them) due to liability concerns. Keep it professional and focused on your career. Leave as little room for potential prejudice as possible. This isn’t MySpace.
Tip 5: “Never utilize what you can use.” Which is an old cliche meaning “keep it simple” in your writing. If you have ever taken a business writing class, now is your chance to shine. Write your resume in an understandable and concise manner. Folks scanning resumes do not have the time to study up for the SAT verbal section. Be clear in your vocabulary 😉
Tip 6: State specifics and mix in a few power words. Use specific numbers. State exactly how many people you were in charge of, what the revenue was as part of the business description, and any specific awards and honors you can think of. Also make sure to toss in a few power words. Power words should not conflict with the aforementioned vocabulary rule, but enhance your point and really drive it home. “Achieved”, “generated”, “initiated” are all examples of great power words.
Tip 7: Keep it electronic friendly. If you use too many power words, your resume will lack the key terms that people in your industry search for when filling positions.
Tip 8: Do not use personal pronouns or contractions. Never say “I” or “me.” It will make you come across as arrogant and not as the team player we all know that you are. The resume is also considered to be a formal document. Avoid using contractions.
Tip 9: Know Your Strengths. If you have a gap in your work experience that is difficult to explain, but have great skills and training, consider a “functional” format rather than a chronological one. Adjust your resume to represent you in the best possible way.
Tip 10: Proof read. Repeatedly. Just like those term papers you used to write back in school. Ask your friends and family members to look over the resume for you. Use spell check, but more importantly, walk away, come back, and read it again fresh.
Bonus Tip: Honesty is the best policy. Lying on a resume will only lead to trouble. By selling your strengths and countering your weaknesses, you should not have to anyway. 🙂