A Résumé the Right Way
It’s easy in this Digital Age to think that a solid résumé isn’t important; after all, your new employer is just going to check you out on Facebook or LinkedIn, so who cares, right? Wrong. A résumé can make or break an employment opportunity because most times, it’s the first thing an employer sees about you. Here are some tips about what to include, what not to do and how to improve your chances of being seen as a capable, must-have employee.
Employers who will not hire a candidate without a résumé (1)
1 in 5
Applicants for a given job who get an interview (2)
Average time recruiters actually look at a candidate’s résumé (4)
1 in 2
Candidates who flat-out lie on their résumés (3)
Résumés that include made-up companies or lie about ones that have gone out of business (4)
Anatomy of a Successful Résumé
Whether your résumé is in print or only online, there are some common threads among attention-getting and informative documents. (5)
First things first
Don’t save your résumé as something like myresume.doc. Use your name, and consider including the name of the position for which you’re applying.
Name, email address and phone number are required.
Street addresses are less necessary than in days past.
If you include one, make it concise. Many hiring managers find objectives or mission statements to be pretentious, so consider where you’re sending your résumé and whether it’s a traditional employer who will be expecting it.
This section used to be listed toward the bottom of the document, but clever job-seekers often push it to the top, since they know most recruiters won’t make it to the bottom of the résumé before making a decision.
If your résumé is digital, consider including a slideshow of your work or a video of a recent project you worked on.
Many larger companies now use software to search for keywords, so consider how you’re phrasing your experience and tailor your wording to each individual employer.
Remember that showing is better than telling. If you helped streamline an operation, put a number with it: “Reduced facilities operations cost by 10%” sounds better than “Managed facilities operations.”
Consider including hyperlinks to relevant content, such as stories about professional accomplishments.
DID YOU KNOW? 95% of recruiters verify employers and tenure. (1)
Institution, degree and major are required.
Depending on your age and how long you’ve been out of college, it may not be necessary to list your year of graduation.
DID YOU KNOW? 16% of degrees and institutions listed on results are false. (4)
These are optional, but if you do include them, be sure that those listed will give you a glowing recommendation.
DID YOU KNOW? 96% of organizations use some form of reference checks. (6)
Tips for digital résumés (7)
- Visit the site on a computer other than yours using several browsers. You don’t want a potential employer to have a browser error.
- Always check links; it shows you sweat the small stuff.
- Keep vital information at the top.
- Post your résumé on sites relevant to your particular industry.
What Not to Do
Here are some typical mistakes job-seekers make. Use the tips above to avoid these pitfalls. (8)
Omitting the cover letter
Creating a cover letter specific to one job will bring you much more success than creating a blanket cover letter for any generic job posting.
Being ugly (the resume, that is)
Not to say your résumé should be a publishable work of art. But with absolutely no color, bold type or interesting spacing, it may be overlooked.
Going overboard with design
Using fancy headings and colors can be fun; but they often convey to your potential employer that you aren’t serious, or that you’re trying to compensate for lack of experience or skills.
Not narrowing the focus
If your résumé isn’t focused enough on the field you want to enter, your potential employer may think you’re a bit too “garden variety” for the position.
Making it too personal
Your name, e-mail address, phone number and the city you live in will suffice. There is no need to put your home address, birthday or pet’s name.