10 Tips To Write a Killer Resume
Over the last ten years, I have reviewed thousands of resumes. It never ceases to amaze me how many candidates are instantly disregarded due to poorly written resumes. In my opinion, sending in a half-assed resume is no different than showing up for an interview in your pajamas.
If you are truly interested in getting hired, you must dot your i’s, cross your t’s and use spellcheck!
Based on my experience, I have created a resume checklist to ensure your resume will create a lasting (first) impression.
Since your resume is the first impression you are making to a potential employer- why not put your best foot forward? Use the following resume checklist to build yourself a professional resume you can be proud to submit.
Proper Formatting: When creating your resume, you must format it correctly. The top of the resume needs to include your full name, address, email and phone number. In most cases, I suggest not adding a photo. There are times it may be appropriate, but experts agree with me on this one- skip the photo. Unless you are applying for a modeling or acting position, you may be shooting yourself in the foot by attaching a photo. Use the same font throughout the entire document. Keep your formatting consistent throughout the document including when you make something bold and when you use bullets.
Expected Resume Components: After you enter your contact information, you will enter your objective, skills/ core competencies, work experience, education, and references. If you are applying for your first job, include experiences such as volunteer work or school courses that will qualify you for the position.
- Contact Information: Include your name, address, email and phone number. Use a professional email address (forget imsohot86@gmail and instead use firstname.lastname@gmail).
- Objective: Make your object clear and company focused. Example: Seeking a position as an account manager at ABC Accounting firm where I can maximize my five years of accounting experience.
- Skills and Core Competencies: Make your skills very clear and easy to see. If you are applying for a digital marketing position, you would clearly list skills such as Facebook, Twitter, Canva, Adobe Illustrator, Google AdWords, etc. If you see required skills or competencies that you have in the job listing, make it very clear on your resume.
- Work Experience: Clearly and concisely list your position, employer and time spent. Underneath that, include a few bullets that describe both responsibilities and accomplishments, ideally in the same sentence. Example: Developed and maintained workflow for employee scheduling that reduced employee callouts by fifty percent. Example: Assisted Marketing Manager with monthly analytics reports for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Education: Keep this short and sweet with relevant education information.
Clean Layout: Keep your format and layout consistent by using a resume template. Don’t waste your money buying a template, Microsoft Word has them built in. When you open a new document in Word, search for a resume template. My version of Word shows there are 75 FREE templates. You can also download them here.
One Page: Your resume should be no longer than two pages, preferably one page. This is a summary to show a recruiter what you have to offer. The person reading your resume is likely going to be reviewing fifty to a hundred, if not more. Are you wondering when a resume should be two pages? Monster.com reports it is okay if you have varied experience a long career.
Updated For The Position: Before submitting your resume, update it to match the position you are applying for. This includes updating your objective, skills, and even fine-tuning your experience with prior positions. If you have QuickBooks experience but are applying for a marketing position, guess what, they don’t care if you know how to use QuickBooks.
Proofread: This is SO important. You do not want any typos or grammatical errors on your resume! Not only should you write your resume in Microsoft word and use spellcheck, you should have someone else proofread your resume. If you cannot find anyone to proofread, use an online proofreader like Paperrater or Grammarly.com. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a resume with typos.
Cover Letter Included: The cover letter is a great tool to accompany your resume. You can express why you are applying for the job, why you are interested in working with the specific company, and explain why you are a great fit for the position. The cover letter is also a great place to spell out a few specific skills you have that qualify you for the position. Believe it or not, a lot of people do not submit cover letters and this is a great way for you to stand out. Microsoft Word also has cover letter templates!
References Provided: If you can fit references on the same pages as your resume, include them. I suggest three. If you do not have enough room, include a separate page with your references or you can write “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume.
Clear File Name: When you save your resume, save it using a name like FirstNameLastNameResume.pdf. The person reviewing your resume will receive tens if not hundreds of resumes. Make it easy for your resume to be found by using your name in the title.
Save the File as a PDF: When you save your resume, save it as a .pdf file, not a .doc file. Even better, make the pdf three pages- first-page cover letter, second-page resume, third-page references.
Now that you have my kick ass resume checklist, it is time to update your resume! Best of luck with your job hunt.