Are you looking for a new job? Perhaps you’re changing careers or moving to another company. Putting a resume together can be daunting and time consuming. That being said, a great resume is the first step towards landing that next opportunity.
I have spent plenty of time interviewing…on both sides of the table. So, let me share some of my resume building tips with you.
Clean and Readable Formatting
One of the most important aspects of a good resume is making it readable. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget about this!
Select a classic font such as Times New Roman or Arial in 10 point font or larger. Don’t go crazy with different colors and fonts. It is just distracting. Utilize bullet points to list details about employment history, skills, etc. Section dividers and bolded headers are important because they make your resume scan-able. If I pick up your resume, I should be able to get an idea about you with a quick glance.
Then, make sure your contact information is prominently displayed at the very top of your resume. This should include:
- Phone Number(s)
- Email Address
- Website (if applicable)
The Elevator Pitch
Also known as an objective, your elevator pitch is a brief summary of who you are, what you’re looking for, and what you can offer. This can be accomplished in about 2-3 sentences. For example:
Seasoned project manager looking to secure a position with a well established organization with a stable environment, where I can leverage my experience in tourism, hospitality, and healthcare industries. Willing to relocate and travel.
Relevant Employment History
You don’t need to list every single job you’ve ever had. Your resume would turn into a novel if you did! Take into consideration how long your resume currently is, which job you’re applying for, and then decide which of your past jobs you should include. This is especially important as you get more experience.
Be selective about which skills you list and make sure they are relevant to the job which you are applying for. You might include things like:
- Proficient in Microsoft Office suite
- Fluent German speaker
- Skilled presenter
A note: skills are not hobbies. Don’t list things like “accomplished concert pianist” unless you are applying for a job as one!
Most employers will want to know whether you have relevant education. If you have a college degree, trade school certificate, or other relevant education, include it at the bottom of your resume. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy section, just put the school, degree or certificate, and the year of completion. After you’ve worked for a few years, this becomes less important, but you need to include it nonetheless.
A Debate on Length
There are a lot of feelings about this. Some people say that without exception your resume should be one page. I don’t agree.
My thought is this: years of experience = length of resume. Someone who has 20+ years of experience will have a much longer resume than someone who has three. Again, make sure whatever information you include is relevant.
Employers love to see that you’ve hit goals. What’s even better, though, is to put a number to those accomplishments.
- Good: Managed large scale projects
- Better: Managed projects totaling $5MM that delivered on time and on budget
- Best: Managed 10 projects consecutively, with a total budget of $5MM, all delivering on time and 10% under budget.
Tailor your resume as much as possible to each type of job. You don’t need to recreate the wheel with each version, but you do need to ensure that you are reading job descriptions and matching the language, skills, and experience correctly. This could be as easy as rewriting a bullet point to emphasize customer service rather than project management.
Let’s Get Started!
Reach out to me if you’re thinking about updating or revamping your resume. I offer resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile building services.