Stand Out From The Crowd
Searching for a new job can be overwhelming and sometimes feels like a full time job in itself. That is why it is important that you have all of the right “job hunt” tools when beginning your search. A handyman doesn’t go to work without his tool box and you shouldn’t start your job search without an effective resume.
As you begin your journey to find your dream job, you will need to start by creating or updating your resume. Since it is one of your biggest tools, creating an effective resume will be a game changer for you as you navigate the job market. Whether you are just making a few updates, or creating a new resume altogether, you should make it a priority. As you sit at your kitchen table, sip your favorite beverage, and mentally juggle your work history, join me as I answer some of the most common resume questions our team receives from our candidates.
- Should my resume really be one page?
- What information should I include?
- Any new resume trends I should consider?
- But really, what info should I include about my last job?
- Should I seriously list all my jobs?
- What is most important to employers when reviewing my resume?
- Is there anything I should not include?
Keep it Simple
- Use a modern font such as Arial, Comic Sans, or Times New Roman
- Standard black and white is safe. No need to use other colors
- Be smart with your font sizes. Increase font for your name, contact info, and headers.
- Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers to read your resume. Don’t overthink it.
- Everything should be aligned on the left side of the page. We do not recommend centering anything. Your goal is to make it easy for hiring managers to quickly review your info. You can cause confusion if key information is centered or aligned differently than the rest of your resume.
- You should be able to fold your resume into segments based on how your jobs, dates, and sections are aligned
Painting Your Picture
Make Sure It’s Easy To Reach You
- Your contact number needs to be active. Make sure your voicemail sounds professional and is cleared out so you can receive voicemails
- Use an email address that you check regularly and make sure your email notifications are set on your mobile device.
- Only use professional email addresses that are built around your name. If you do not have one we recommend creating a new one for job hunting
No Need For Unnecessary Info
- If the information you are sharing is not unique, we recommend eliminating it from your resume. Stay away from objective statements that do nothing more than take up 1-2 lines on the top of the resume. Telling a Hiring Manager that you are “looking to utilize your skills for a successful company” is better left on the sidelines.
- The only time we recommend an objective statement is if you are switching careers or industries and need to explain in 1-2 sentences. This will be unique and thus deemed necessary 🙂
One Page Please
- Your resume is not a book about every job you have ever had, it is a tool to give hiring managers a snapshot of your experience and why they should consider calling you. While it is a frequently debated subject, we recommend keeping your resume to one page. Since hiring managers spend an average of 6-8 seconds on any given resume, they do not have time to read multiple pages.
- To keep it to one page, we recommend playing with the margins, being smart with your font sizes, and only including your highlights. No need to add any information that does not highlight you.
Sharing Your Work History
Which Jobs Do I List?
- We recommend listing your 3 most recent positions along with 3 bullets for each one. If you have more than 3 jobs we recommend listing them but only including your Title, Company Name, & Employment Dates. If one of your older jobs is relevant to the position you are applying for, we recommend adding 1-2 bullets to highlight your experience.
What Should I Include In My Bullets?
- Your bullets should highlight the experience you gained while working in that role. Do not list job duties or obvious details pertaining to your job (If you worked at Subway do not list “made sandwiches”). This will only waste valuable space on your resume and will add limited value.
- Instead, focus on accomplishments, awards, or other recognition you received while working in that role.
- We recommend adding numbers whenever possible. Numbers will stand out to hiring managers reviewing your resume.
- Below are a couple examples to jog your memory:
- Were you responsible for training new employees? How many did you train while there?
- If you were a forklift operator or order picker how many orders did you pull per shift?
- If you worked in a call center, how many calls did you answer per shift?
- Did you ever receive Employee of the Month or another company award?
- Is there a situation that stands out where you made a significant impact for the company?
Stay Away From The Usual
- It seems that every resume we review has at least one or two common resume terms – Team player, leader, hard worker, dependable, punctual, or quick learner. We recommend eliminating these phrases from your resume and instead trying to prove these through your bullets and work experience. Remember, you are just trying to get a hiring manager to call you. You can highlight a lot of these common terms during your interview when talking in depth about your experience
Your Education & Skills
- Always list your highest level of education. If you are currently enrolled in any type of higher education we recommend adding this as well.
- Stay away from including your GPA and instead include any honors that you received: Deans List, Honors Club, etc.
- If you have received any certifications you should list and include any relevant dates that your hiring manager may be interested in reviewing.
- Review the job ad you are responding too and see which of your skills align with the position. We recommend listing these on your resume.
- If you can speak more than one language we recommend highlighting and listing as your first skill. You may also consider listing under education.
Experience First, Then Education
- Unless you have limited work history, we recommend keeping the education section at the end of your resume. Hiring Managers are interested in what you can add to their organization today and will skip to your work experience first.
Other Stay Aways
Remove Short Term Jobs
- If you only held a job for a few months, we recommend removing it from your resume. You do not want to paint a picture that you have commitment issues. With that being said, you need to be prepared to discuss any potential gaps in your resume during an interview.
- If you have had a few short term jobs throughout your career we recommend removing months (January 2018-March 2020) from your jobs and instead recommend only using years (2018-2020).
- If you took a period of time off work we recommend adding details regarding your time away from the workplace. The best way to do this is to list the leave as it’s own job. For Example: Caring for sick family member – December 2018-May 2019
- Be honest, and be prepared to discuss with the hiring manager, if they ask any clarifying questions.
What About References?
- Never list “References Available Upon Request”. The only time you need to worry about references is if a hiring manager specifically asks you for them.
- If you have any killer recommendation letters, we recommend bringing these to your interview 🙂