Crafting a great resume can be a daunting and mundane task. There are many questions that come up when thinking about how to build the “perfect” resume in order to get through to the interviews. The truth is that there is no perfect strategy or format to build an excellent resume. I will say, however, that technology has dramatically changed the way candidates are selected in the application process. Having a well-written and “ATS” compliant resume will greatly increase your chances of being recognized by the hiring authorities.
Here Are 12 Tips For a Stellar Resume In 2020:
1. Your Header Should Be Formatted Top-Center:
Having a correct header sets the precedent for the rest of the resume. A header should consist of your first/last name, the best phone number for a hiring manager to contact you, and your professional e-mail address. Your header should always be formatted to the top-center. This is a big deal. I have seen many candidates who choose to have their header formatted on the top right or top left for whatever reason, and it doesn’t look pleasant. Everything about your resume should be easy on the eyes and accessible. Back when I was a recruiter, there was nothing worse than having a resume that I could not follow or scan quickly. If someone has to go through trying to hunt for information that they need, there is a decent chance there will be bias against your resume right off the start. Also, have a decent sized header. I don’t want to have to squint for your contact information if I really like you.
2. Consider A Career Profile Instead Of An Objective Or Mission Line:
Can I be honest? An objective or mission statement is tacky, generic, and outdated. Everybody says that they “are a motivated and experienced goat trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the area 51 sector. Skilled in extreme ironing and square dancing, with a Bachelor’s Degree in underwater basket weaving.
Look familiar? It’s boring and you aren’t conveying anything to anyone. Instead, let’s craft a career profile that is one paragraph long. Ideally, this paragraph will talk about a few different things:
– What Your Career Focus Is
– Why You Love What You Do
– What You Are Searching For
I know many hiring authorities who are tired of the same canned lines, and it’s becoming a problem. Be the one who stands out because in today’s climate, you are one paper in a stack of 150 at someone’s desk. Spend some extra time reflecting on what it is that you are proud of; you might find that it pays off.
3. Your Professional Experience Should Be At The Top:
Remember, everything about your resume should be focused towards accessibility for the person reviewing it. I once reviewed an executive’s CV that was 6 pages long and his work experience was buried in pages 4-6. That does not work for me, and could be perceived as a red flag. I don’t want to have to spend a bunch of time sifting through to find what I need, and I can assure you that and the hiring manger or recruiter doesn’t either. Please, be mindful to have your professional experience at the top!
4. Your dates of employment should be perfectly spaced.
There should be no question marks about your employment tenure. Put the Company name underneath your title and have your dates of employment aligned and spaced perfectly.
5. Leave your education at the bottom
It is tempting to showcase your master’s degree, especially as a recent graduate ready to take on the world. You SHOULD BE proud and excited that you completed your education, but resist the urge to put it at the top. This space should be reserved for your professional experience. Rest assured that the hiring manager will get to your education eventually.
6. Have A Short Paragraph Summary Before The Bullets
Most people only care about what you did, who you did it with, for how long, and 2-3 bullets. Anything past this likely won’t be read. This is why having a short paragraph before your bullet points is ideal. Having a small paragraph helps cut down your bullet points and increases the probability of someone reading more of your resume. The more time someone spends looking at your resume, the better. If I was a hiring authority and I saw that you had a small paragraph and 3 bullet points, I would likely examine it all. Maybe not on every single job you’ve had, but at least with the first 1-3 most recent jobs.
Here Is An Example Of What To Do:
ABC Company, Inc. April 2017 – Present
Partner with Vocational Rehabilitation and community resources to oversee the employment services program for disabled adults including career counseling, marketing, job coaching, and case management.
- Oversight of Regional Program with 48 participants and 17 staff
- Achieved highest RSAS Audit score in the history of regional office (98%)
- Responsible for hiring and retaining employment staff
7. 3-5 Bullets MAX For Your Work Experience
Not to discredit all of the thought and hard work you put into your resume, but nobody reads past the first 3-5 bullets. UNLESS you are a senior manager decorated with accolades, it does not make sense to have 7-10 bullet points. When a hiring manager or recruiter reads your resume, they only really care about 4 things.
All I Care About Is:
- What Did You Do?
- Who’d You Do It For?
- For How Long?
- First 2-3 Bullet Points
8. A Little Bold Goes A Long Way!
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN AN ENTIRE RESUME WRITTEN LIKE THIS?
I have. This makes it very difficult to follow where the important accomplishments, dates, titles, and company information is locate. There is probably nothing more unappealing than a resume that has too much bold. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.
Things that are worth bolding are:
- your name in the header
- titles with your companies
- dates of employment
- one or two key accomplishments
Again, bold font makes information stand out easier in order to follow the important stuff. A resume full of bold is not accessible.
9. Send Out Your Resume As A PDF:
Biggest Mistake I See With Candidates!
Hiring managers are vetting resumes from all types of platforms today. Your resume will look different on an iphone, PC, and any other sort of version of Microsoft Word. I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes and spoken with managers on this very thing. If you don’t have a universal PDF copy, you’d be surprised how jumbled up your resume could look. It could look immaculate on your computer at home, but might look completely jumbled up for another person. When I saw resumes that are completely jumbled, I figured that was the problem. However, somebody else might not, and this could be why you haven’t gotten a reply back from 50 applications. Always send as a PDF.
10. Separate your personal and professional e-mails.
Consider making a separate e-mail account for your job search that you can check daily. It can be easy to miss out on hiring managers contacting you if you get 100 personal e-mails a day. Also, nothing is worse than when I see a beautiful resume, I want to contact you, and I see that your e-mail is“Doobyguy420@gmail.com.”
What you do on your personal time is your business; don’t let your e-mail address ruin your job search. Change your e-mail please =)
11. Use a professional font.
According to many credible sources, Comic Sans is the most hated font by people. Try using fonts such as Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, Georgia, or Verdana.
12. Remember, there is no such thing as a “perfect” resume.
There are many great ways you can build your resume. If you follow a few of these guidelines, you will be on your way to landing the interviews! If you would like for me to alleviate the stress and burden of creating a resume, I would love to speak with you.