“Human being with human interaction skills.”
“Good at staring at a computer screen for hours.”
“Good at phone sales. Native language: American Sign Language.”
“Impeccable atenshion to detail,.”
I always wonder what goes on inside one’s head as they put together a resume. As a recruiter, I have seen some pretty fantastic, arguably decent, and horridly terrifying resumes. While I have to admit, the “bad” resumes are highly entertaining, an applicant must realize that they get an estimated 15-20 seconds of a recruiter’s time once they submit their resume. And while that may not seem like sufficient time, to a recruiter, it is just enough.
That said, here are some of the best ways to improve your resume.
- Font: Do not use a font size smaller than a 10. Jamming your resume to fit into one page makes it hard to read. Two pages is better than one sometimes.
- Header: Your name should be a couple of font sizes bigger than the rest of your text. Also, include your full contact information. This includes address, phone number(s), and email address.
- While we are on the subject, create a professionalemail address through one of the many free email domains available. iWant2Party@hellokitty.com* does not bode well.
- Objective: Avoid the “obvious”. Statements like “I’m looking for a job” are assumed if you are submitted a resume. Instead, customize your objective for each position you apply for.
- Body: List positions in reverse chronological order. Make dates, companies, and titles easily findable. In addition to listing responsibilities, also include your accomplishments (ie: “Made 135% of quota for 2011. President’s Club 2011. Highest new net business rate of 50 reps.”). Keep in mind that your accomplishments will stand out more to the recruiter than your responsibilities.
- Explain gaps in employment. This eliminates the guessing-game. (ie: 2009-2011 Took a leave to care for an ill family member)
- If you are more than five (5) years out of college, you can omit the jobs you had while in school. Unless they were relevant to where your career is headed, those positions are better left in the memory bank.
- Customize each resume you send to an employer. Be sure to include relevant information, key words, and highlights that will showcase your skills.
- Spell check.
- Spell check. Again.
*Email address is fictional and is not a functioning email address.
** This blog appeared here on the SuccessFactors Blog