Whether you suffer from career burnout or you simply want to attain a better position in your field, one thing is for sure; you are going to need a resume that will get you in the door for an interview. Resumes appear straightforward, but details such as grammar, format, and what to include or not include matter significantly. Think of a resume as a biography regarding employment opportunities. You only want what sells you on there.
HAVE A MASTER VERSION OF YOUR RESUME
Our education, experience, and background may give us the ability to apply for a vast array of employment opportunities. However, just because the requirements for the opportunity are met, it doesn’t mean that the same resume will be acceptable. While different versions of your resume are needed for each career opportunity, keeping a master resume with all of your jobs, education and experience will make curating specific resumes easier.
LOSE THE OBJECTIVE
Unless you are changing careers, an objective isn’t needed. It takes up space for more pertinent information such as experience and credentials.
MAKE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION PROMINENT
Ensure that your name, email address and phone numbers are prominent and easy to locate. It isn’t necessary for you to include your address. Be sure your email address is professional. No nicknames or social media handles.
CHOOSE A TEMPLATE OR FORMAT THAT IS EASILY DIGESTIBLE
You want the recruiter to be able to skim your resume and see your qualifications. Having sections highlighted in bold print, using bullets as well as adding a splash of color aids in the resume being easy to read.
PLACE ONLY RELEVANT WORK HISTORY
Remember you want the resume to be relevant to the current position you are applying. There is no need to include previous employment unless it can be tied to highlight the necessary skills for the current application.
USE KEY PHRASES ASSOCIATED WITH THE POSITION OR INDUSTRY
Most likely, your resume is picked through software. Be sure to include key phrases that are relevant to the industry. This helps any recruitment software pick up your resume.
CHECK FOR GRAMMATICAL ERRORS AND WEAK VERBIAGE
This cannot be stressed enough. Check for grammatical errors. It is pertinent that your resume is free of errors. Also, make sure the verbiage in your resume is strong. Instead of saying “started,” use words like “spearheaded" or “engineered.”
KEEP IT IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Always start with your most recent employment and go back. This helps recruiters understand your recent experience. The same with education. Place the last degree or certification obtained first and list the rest in reverse chronological order.
KEEP ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION ABOVE THE FOLD
It is recommended that resumes be one page. Another tool of the trade is to keep pertinent information above the fold. This means that if the paper is folded top to bottom, then the most important information should be above the fold line.
WHEN IN DOUBT SEEK HELP FROM A PROFESSIONAL
There are tons of great resume prep experts. Many are former HR professionals. Seek a reputable company out when you can. Be sure to do your research before you select a professional.
BONUS TIP: Always include a cover letter!