If your resumé could talk, what would it say about you? A resumé acts as a personal introduction tool. As many are attempting to newly enter or re-enter the workforce, there is one common objective: to be noticed and to be hired. The professional realm is a competitive one. Remaining focused, hungry, concise, and driven in the earliest portion of your job hunt will allow you to build a powerful foundation for the next steps in your career. First impressions play an essential role in the probability of landing a job, so carefully crafting a strong resumé is key. Outlining a proper summary of your education, experiences, and skills in a way that is effective and promising can be difficult. Use this guide to incorporate the best resumé practices.
1. Keep it Chronological
In some ways, a resumé is a short story. Take care of your readers (aka potential employers), by listing your experiences in chronological order. This offers fluidity and a timeline component to your resumé. Ultimately, an employer will gain a better sense of when and for how long you held a position, how long it took you to receive a promotion, if you had employment gaps, and so forth.
2. Tailor your Resume Accordingly
It is important that you create a resumé that is relevant to the field of the job you are applying to. This is not to say that all experiences do not hold value, but sometimes they belong elsewhere. For example, if you are applying to the position of “Marketing Director,” then it is within your best interest to give priority to the marketing-related skills and experiences on your resumé. Listing experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying to raise your chances of an employer taking a further look into your experience. Keeping roles relevant to the position’s field is also great for saving space. The purpose of a resumé is to summarize, so keeping your resumé to the 1-1 ½ page standard is best. A more in-depth explanation of experiences can be saved for a cover letter.
3. The Past is in the Past
Your resumé writing and verbiage should indicate whether a job experience is current or previous. Using present tense phrases such as “assisting in,” “attending,” “planning,” etc. to describe the responsibilities of a job you held in the past should be avoided. Scan your resumé, and keep verb tenses accurate. While this may seem like a small detail, your detail-orientation and rhetoric certainly matter. Strive for clarity when summarizing your job experiences into bullet points.
4. Looks Do Matter
The visual appearance and formatting of your resumé could certainly make or break your chance of scoring that interview. At first glance, if a resumé is uninviting to the eye and uneasy to follow visually, it may be overlooked by employers.
Organizational components to consider while creating your resumé:
- Keep margins about 1-inch on all sides
- Font style and size should be equal throughout the body of the resumé
- Enlarge your first and last name so that it is attention grabbing
- Place your contact info towards the top of your resumé right beneath your name
- Get comfortable categorizing (education > work experience > skills and certifications > special projects/other)
Now that you have the tools to put together an excellent resumé, be sure to pour equal effort into other professional duties when applying to a job, like a cover letter, screen call, and interview.
We are always looking for great resumés at the Belfort Group, so if you feel like yours stands out, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.