Thanks to Debra Wheatman for sharing this excellent article on the truly important issues to consider when creating your resume. Whether or not you're currently looking for work, this is definitely worth the read!
Drafting an effective résumé is key to contributing to a successful job search. Oftentimes, the résumé is the first thing a hiring manager reviews to determine your suitability for a potential opening. This first (and lasting) impression is critical; putting your best foot forward in creating a highly accomplishment-driven document will go a long way in ensuring that you are contacted. There are a number of things that should be considered to ensure your résumé works to your advantage:
Results - Everyone has responsibilities as part of their job. That does not engage or capture the reader though. It’s fairly boring to read ‘Responsible for…’ and whatever it is that you do on a daily basis. The key component is to provide the reader with an example of something you did that generated RESULTS for your employer. Consider the following acronym: SAR. This stands for Situation, Action, Result, and can help you define on paper what the situation was, the action you took, and the result that will demonstrate your ability to deliver. If you do this throughout your résumé, you will set a positive and proactive tone that you are a committed and productive individual who is able to serve as a change agent for a company.
It’s all in the Words - Using compelling verbs will serve to engage your reader. Try to come up with different verbs to lead the bullets or sections of your document. Avoid using the same words over and over again. The résumé is a marketing document. You need to take a step back and think “What would I think of this if I saw it for the first time?” Try to get inside the mind of the hiring manager. You want to impress and engage someone. Actionable word choices will help you do this. Some good résumé verbs: Spearheaded; championed; aligned; delivered; implemented. You get the idea – these words present a call to action.
Presentation -While ‘content is king,’ presentation plays a part in the recipe. People like to look at things that look nice – résumés are no exception to this rule. Your résumé should be presented in a consistent manner on the page. Ensure that the margins are aligned properly. Choose an appealing font like Book Antiqua in 10 pts. or something a bit stronger like Tahoma in 9.5 points. There are many fonts out there that hold more appeal than the totally boring Times New Roman. Once your résumé is complete, print it. Don’t just look at it on the screen. Printing it will give you a better sense of how you are presented overall.
Rules about Grammar and Spelling - If there are two things that will send your résumé straight to the circular file it is grammar and spelling mistakes. I recognize that we are not perfect – but, and there is always a but, your résumé must be perfect. If you know that this area is not your strong suit have someone else review it. It is also a good idea to have someone else look at it because the more you study it the less likely you are to catch small things that a fresh pair of eyes will capture. The Little Blue Book is a great resource to help with myriad grammar issues. Not sure how to spell something? Dictionary.com is there to help. Need another word for managed? No problem – check out Thesauras.com for synonyms. There are countless resources right at your fingertips. Gone are the days of heavy books; the online world allows access to the most inconceivable information, which you should use to your advantage.
The Downlow on Hobbies - Leave hobbies off the résumé unless a hobby for you is completing an Ironman Triathlon or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Simply stating that reading or running is a hobby is not very compelling. The hiring manager will learn about you in time. However, the aforementioned triathlon and climb is certainly of greater interest than reading books. In addition to being an icebreaker, which can set a personal tone to the meeting, those things also demonstrate a unique spirit and other traits that set you apart from your peers. The perseverance, commitment, and dedication needed for those things warrants referencing on the résumé. If not something really unique, leave it off.
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is the founder and Chief Career Strategist of http://ResumesDoneWrite.com, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries. Debra is also the CareerDoctor (www.ResumesDoneWrite.blogspot.com)
Debra can be reached at DWheatman@ResumesDoneWrite.com
We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at jasonblais.com. I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason