In my days spent as a recruiter, I’ve witnessed a number of simple oversights on resumes that have come between a job seeker and a potential job opportunity. From our side to yours, I’m here to spread the word and set you up for success when it comes time to prepare for your next job search.
Tip #1: Less is more! Limit those resumes to one page front and back (MAX)! Highlight your key skills and contributions because that is what a resume reviewer is going to seek out within the first 10 seconds. That first impression is crucial and may make or break your next steps in a hiring process.
Tip #2: Fine tune your resume on LinkedIn – Update it! In this day and age, it’s rare to find a job opportunity without the use of social media. Your LinkedIn profile is the living and breathing version of your resume. It’s also doing work for you around the clock – even when you’re not ‘Open to Work.’
Tip #3: Exact address isn’t necessary but location MATTERS. City and State carry heavy weight for location-based jobs. This doesn’t just mean those that have in-person requirements. In the remote world, many companies are now favoring certain time zones or cities to begin their recruiting searches. A resume with no type of location determiner could be a roadblock to a great opportunity.
Tip #4: Focus on specifics. Highlight Individual actions, metrics, and contributions in the successes of goal completion. Your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself. Focus on only team outcomes or skills can be detrimental. Don’t let a reviewer be left wondering – did they really contribute or make an impact? Also, name drop your platforms and system knowledge – they’re often the keywords that recruiters are searching for.
Tip #5: Address and explain any gaps or jumps in-between jobs, if possible. Many times, there’s a simple explanation; It was on contract or for an internship. Don’t leave room for reviewers of your resume to assume or fill in the blanks.
Tip #6: PDFs are friendly. Recruiters and hiring managers are taking advantage of modern technology in the form of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Human Resource Information Sytems (HRIS- more on these here). However, those systems tend to struggle when pulling the correct formatting and information over (especially form Word docs!). Save yourself some trouble & stick to PDFs when sharing your resume.
Tip #7: Ensure all contact information on the resume is correct and active. This is an extremely easy, but crucial, step. Your resume should be a one-way ticket to contact you, make sure that is true before your next job search. Furthermore, phishing is something we all must endure, but recruiter and hiring manager emails are often lost in the crossfire of avoiding potential spam. If you’re actively job seeking – clarify all modes of communication are prepared, ensure your voicemail box is not full, and CHECK YOUR SPAM!
Overall, the job market today belongs to the candidates. The search for the right role can be a long one, so do what you can to step-up your resume game with these simple tips. As a foundation, think about the types of roles you’re seeking and tailor your resume to amplify the skillset you bring to the table. As someone who works with resumes and hiring managers daily, take it from me – spending a bit of time on these hacks initially, will pay-off in the end. Happy Hunting!