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Basic Resume Tips

The dreaded resume.  One of the necessary evils to the job search.  It is your whole professional life on one (or sometimes two) pieces of paper.   Below are some of my basic resume writing tips.

Layout matters: You would be surprised how often I see a resume to review that has been thrown together on Word, or that has used some type of template to create.  If you don’t’ know how to layout your resume, find someone who can a friend, a co-worker or pay someone who specializes in resume writing.

10 second skim:  10 seconds might be generous, but bottom line you don’t have very long to showcase your talents.  You need to be able to skim your resume (and I mean SKIM) to see what appears most prominent.  Make sure what you want to stand out does.  This skim concept is also why layout is so important.

It fits the description:  Many of my clients are changing careers, shifting jobs completely. So it is extremely important that your resume changes to fit the new career you are wanting.  Even if you have 10 years of teaching and you are trying to get into corporate training…change up your resume so it showcases your transferable skills.  Get creative in your layout, design.  But don’t get too creative, make sure all the skills are real and authentic. Flowery, vague terms are easily caught.  I will recommend to clients that they take the job description they are interested in and compare it with their resume. If they were a recruiter could they match up the job description with the resume and see a fit?

Be specific:  Whatever you can quantify. do it.  Show a number or percent.  Give real details not fluff.  Instead of saying “computer skills” list the specific computer programs you are proficient in.  List the number of people you have trained, size of the budget, percentage of sales etc.

Write a Cover Letter:  Especially for people who are trying to switch careers it is important to write a quality, concise cover letter to showcase who you are and what you can do for the company.  You cover letter should highlight your resume and give more detail about your experience…not just reiterate your resume.

The challenge with resumes is everyone has an opinion on writing one.  You can line up 10 experts and they will give you 10 different opinions.  So my advice?  Stick with the basics:  Use a clean, attractive layout, avoid misspellings and showcase your talents.

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