As a career counselor and life coach, I can tell you first hand how important it is to have a strong resume if you are searching for a job. There are several qualities that make a resume powerful and each must work together seamlessly in order to make yourself a highly sought after person for the career of your dreams. Below our my five tips on building a successful resume:
- Keep it on one page! I can’t tell you how many employers won’t even look at your resume if it is more than one page. It shows you can’t format a document properly and that you can’t produce a concise and relevant summary of your experience.
- Make sure all content results driven. In other words, prospective employers want to see what you were able to accomplish and want exact figures! Highlight what you were able to accomplish at a company (not necessarily what you did per se) and cite particular departments you worked with to ensure the success of the company. For example: “Worked with Marketing Department on targeted online pay-per-click campaigns that generated a 25% return on investment and a 15% quarterly department growth.”
- Get the order right. If you are out of college and have already had a job, than make sure your education goes below your work experience. If you are fresh out of college, an objective at the top is appropriate followed by education and work/internship experience then additional information. If you have already been in the work force then the order should be work experience, education then additional information – no objective! Keep all old jobs past tense and all current jobs present tense and make sure there are no gaps in your work experience! A potential employer would rather see that you worked at McDonald’s rather than sat on a couch unemployed for months.
- Make an efficient use of space. I’ve seen so many resumes that make a totally ineffective use of space. Look online for good formats and templates and make sure the resume is visually and aesthetically pleasing to look at! Make sure all font is consistent in size and type. Highlight in bold only what you want emphasized. Again keep it on one page!!
- Be totally honest. Make sure you are not exaggerating any area of your experience or background. If you look too good on paper, you might land a job you’re totally unqualified for! (Believe me, it happens!). Instead, take time to think about your strengths and what people say you’re good at. Highlight those qualities while also understanding areas you need to improve upon.
Also be sure to leverage social media sites such as LinkedIn, which is now responsible for over 50% of job placements. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and consistent with your resume and begin networking online with people and groups in your industry.
Keep Facebook professional and for God sakes please don’t do the thing where you change your profile last name to your middle name so employers can’t find you. The truth is companies these days are very active on social media sites like Facebook and often check out your pages to see how savvy you are as well. Make sure your privacy settings are enabled and use Facebook to network with people in the industry you’re interested in.
Hopefully these tips will get you off to a good start, but they really are just the tip of the iceberg. For more detailed information sign up for our newsletter or shoot me an email for an individual one-on-one career coaching.