Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Basic Frame Works:
Remember my earlier comment about the format being the frame? Well the template is the inside cardboard frame that sets the picture off and keeps it in place. There are many, in fact hundreds of templates easily found for use from a simple search on Goggle. Most are free. You should be able to find a good template for free. Indeed.com has several good ones that are not overly busy in their design and structure. From my Insider’s perspective, simpler is better.
Techie Things to Consider:
Your resume should be 2 pages for seasoned workers and 1 page for the less experienced.
It should show only 10 years of your work history. Exceptions, highlight earlier experience, only if applicable to the job you’re applying.
Scientists with patents and publications should do a separate document with your full publications or patents list. List a few on your resume and note that you can send a full publications list as a separate document upon request.
The goal is to make the text and white space of the page work together. Leave enough white space so the reader’s eye is not overwhelmed by the amount of text on a page.
The font should be easy to read--not too small or ornate.
Keywords are also important to make your resume shine. They add verbal life to your document. Words like: accelerated, counseled, devised, created, etc. You can find a list of key action words by doing a Google Search. Be sure to also add relevant key buzz words from the job description to your resume but only if it fits your experience. Per Careers Wiki industry buzzwords increase your ability to be hired by 29%. Yes, though buzzwords are important it’s also key to show with numbers how you improved things.
For experienced workers add education and trainings at the bottom your resume.
For new grads with no work experience, education generally comes first. It’s your biggest accomplishment to date.
Social Media Profiles:
Please save your picture for your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. I know pictures seem to be in vogue right now, but Recruiters and especially employers don’t want to see a picture on your resume. Pictures on resumes don’t line up with fair employment practice guidelines. These guidelines bend toward preserving fairness in the application and qualification process to ensure everyone is treated equally. Align your LinkedIn profile and your resume on dates and experience.
Clean up your Facebook pictures. No raunchy pictures should be posted. No pictures of you guzzling from a beer keg or you participating in a wet t-shirt contest. I don’t usually check for my candidates on Facebook but many Recruiters do look there. Especially those hiring new grads. It can negatively impact your chances of getting hired.
Use spell check and eyeball your resume thoroughly. There should be no typographical or spelling errors on your resume.
Tenses should also be correct and consistent.
Recruiters print out resumes and on the printer sometimes pages get mixed up. Put your name, contact information and page number on every page of your resume.
The contact information to include is: your name; cell phone; an alternate home phone; and email address. It should be a professional looking email address.
Include your LinkedIn profile link and don’t add your home address on your resume. List the city and state, but not your street address.
After you’ve done all this, get someone else to read your resume closely for errors. Then let it rest a day or two without looking at it and review it again. You may just catch something you need to change.
Don’t get caught up with pretty fonts or highly creative layouts that make your resume difficult to read. If it’s too difficult read--it won’t get read and you’ll miss a chance to be considered for a job.
Decorative paper; templates won’t get you get a job. Being noticed only works to your benefit, if you have the skills/experience for the job.
Simple is best for those eyeballing your resume and for the (ATS) Applicant Tracking Systems employers use. They scan resumes by looking for key words or phrases to qualify candidates.
Your resume is a reflection of you and your work experience. Make it look good.
You want to be seen as a competent, organized, thorough, concise and knowledgeable professional. Projecting these qualities through your resume along with your skills/experience will go a long way to help get your resume read and increase your chances of a Hiring Manager seeing your resume.
Remember, you must catch the attention of a Recruiter. The Recruiter won’t consider you without seeing at least 80-90% of the necessary skills and experience needed to do the job on your resume. You’ll need to pass a qualifier screen with a Recruiter or Hiring Manager for a chance to have a formal interview. Be clear, be concise and be honest about what you’ve done in your work career.
Are your heads are spinning? This is a lot to remember. The competition is always tough, but now it’s even more competitive. You just need to be tougher, you can and will succeed. You just have to keep plugging away at it. Don’t help your competition by sending out a poorly done resume with errors on it.
Here’s wishing you all great job search success!