Resume Writing 101

Resume-Writing

So, you’ve decided to embark on a job search journey. Where do you start? Well, first step is making sure you have a strong resume in place. This is your first impression – make sure it is perfect! You only have one chance. As an HR professional for over 20 years, I have seen thousands of resumes – the good, the bad and the ugly. What does a perfect resume look like? Well, there may be many variations, but I could give you tips on how to make sure your resume is viewed and moved to the “follow-up” pile. Keep in mind, that the average resume is scanned for an average of 25 seconds, many times, even less. One small typo or format error can cause it to be moved to the “not qualified” pile. Below, I have added a few tips to help you build a solid resume.

  1. Formatting: Avoid fancy font and layouts. Keep it simple – clean margins, basic font (I like to use Times New Roman, 10-11 point size), don’t over italicize or use too much bold print and be sure to use bullets to highlight your accomplishments. Keep the formatting consistent throughout the resume and keep it under 2 pages. Anything over that will most likely get overlooked.
  2. Ditch linking verbs – use action verbs: Get rid of those boring linking verbs such as “I worked for”  or “Was responsible for” and start using strong action verbs such as “Managed” or “Developed” to describe your role. For example: If your resume stated “Was responsible for a team of six”, you should change it to: “Supervised a team of six”. Small changes like this make a difference. Other action verbs to consider are: designed, developed, led, communicated, advised. 
  3. List accomplishments, not just responsibilities: There is a difference. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know what you’ve accomplished, not just what your role was. Make sure to state achieved revenue, goal achievement, etc.
  4. Read your resume out loud: This will help you catch grammar mistakes and make sure it sounds right. Do this a few times and also ask someone to review it for you. Remember, this is your first impression – make it count.

There are many other things involved in creating that perfect resume. Do you need an objective statement? A summary? How can I capture 20 years of experience in under 2 pages? Well, that’s why professional resume writers exist- ask me.

Remember, your goal is to get past that initial 25 second (or less) scan. If your resume reflects what they are looking for, you will achieve positive results and be well on your way to getting that interview!

Check out my video blog at: Instagram – Preparing your Resume

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