How To Create A Great Resume
Over the years, we at Protégé Hunters have helped a lot of people just like you get jobs and we have found that the first thing most candidates need is advice on preparing their resume. We have put together the following advice to help you put your best foot forward on your resume – follow these rules and it will put you ahead of the game.
- A Chronological resume is the preferred format for most recruiters. Achievement based or functional formats are confusing and annoying to read (despite what your resume writers might tell you.)
- Avoid formatting your resume data with boxes, horizontal printing or unusual fonts. These are also distracting and cause trouble for parsing software in databases and job boards. Resumes in non-traditional formats may look pleasing to the eye (yours) but they are a nuisance when a recruiter or HR manager attempts to put / ‘parse’ your resume into our various systems. Resumes not in a traditional format run are not parsed correctly and may be discarded. Your data will not be saved for future opportunities they may find that fit your background. Keep your format in a traditional .doc or .docx format…simple is best.
- Honesty is the only policy.
- Be certain your resume and your LinkedIn profile match. Hiring managers and recruiters always compare the two documents. Are the dates, titles, companies, cities, etc. the same? If they are not, you will draw immediate suspicion from the hiring manager.
- Suggestion: Below the name of the company/employer, provide a concise explanation of what the company does or what services it offers. Unless you have a role at Home Depot or McDonalds, there is a chance a recruiter or hiring manager or HR director is unfamiliar with what your current company does. (This is not to be confused with what you do for the company. That information follows below your title and your tenure at the company.)
- Suggestion: After you detail your function or role, consider adding an additional paragraph or list of bullet points of “quantifiable achievements”. Add a list of: quotas and quota attainment. Cost savings or margin improvements achieved from a specific action, effort or policy you created. List your achievements or efforts that produced a quantifiable benefit or results to the company. This helps you focus on what value you actually added to the company, beyond the daily routine of your job. It is also a tremendous benefit to those reviewing your resume.
- Avoid verbal Styrofoam and clichés. Fluffy, page-filling, vague, meaningless words will take the time a recruiter will commit to looking at your resume. Be concise. We want mostly data and facts and well defined, concise writing. Take time to create a well written resume.
- Use acronyms AND write out the full word. This helps recruiters, and also increases your likelihood of being pulled up in a keyword search. What if a recruiter searches for “CRM” instead of the full meaning of the acronym, and your resume only has the full word? Your resume will not be pulled up in a search.
- Consider adding keywords that appear in job descriptions to your resume. Recruiters use keyword searches to find candidates. Your resume keywords should include specific job requirements, job skills, software and technology competencies, industry specific words and relevant credentials.
- Do not add a personal slogan or motivational phrase. They are rarely interpreted by the resume reader with the sincerity it was surely intended to convey. Also, there is no need to state the obvious “References available upon request”. If you get to the pre-offer stage, we will ask for them.
- Do not add personal information (marital status, number of children, personal details, hobbies, race, orientation, political views or religion). Adding this information is unsophisticated and unprofessional. Recruiters want to learn about your professional experience.
- Resume length: How long should my resume be? Is more than one page too much? Include enough data and content to prove you are a qualified candidate for the role to which you have applied. Traditionally, this requires more than one page. It should be long enough to prove your abilities, but short enough that it is a pleasure to read. Recruiters do not want to read book reports or term papers. If you cannot say it in three pages, revisit your writing style or change your font point.