This past week I went to town on resume basics with my posts on social media. Seeing that January is a time when hiring increases, it seems appropriate. In addition, a trend I have been hearing among my clients and professional network is the added value of an efficient job search. About three years ago I was looking to move back home and I remember the struggle of working my full-time job and then coming home at night to start the applying process. Many employers have their own interface to apply through and specific documents to fill out, on top of attaching your resume and cover letter. It can be simple to take your foot off the gas pedal when the process begins to feel monotonous. So, the question is how do you create an efficient job search?
First things first, create the most readable and prime detailed resume. Let’s pound through a few easy tips to get started. The first thing listed on your resume should be demographic information; Name, telephone, city and state. An older resume may list an entire address, but that is not necessary (preference). Two necessities are an accurate, professional email address and also LinkedIn URL. To keep the demographic section, clean login to LinkedIn, edit profile and edit the URL. It is extremely simple, small detail, but impactful.
The next section is work history, AKA experience. This is going to be the meat of your resume, so making it effective is crucial. Utilize action verbs to begin each statement and stay away from standards statements like those found in your role’s job description. A formal job description can help organize thoughts about influence of those duties, but these bullet points should be more specific. A few examples are manage, oversee, develop, strategize…you get the idea! As far as format goes an example is “Managed ‘X’ task resulting in % growth of ‘Y’ over ‘Z’ time period. A million different forms can be listed, but be specific to your industry and list YOUR influence on those tasks.
Internships should be listed in certain scenarios. Time and effort were put into these roles so don’t overlook the experience thinking it is outdated or irrelevant. If you’re a few years out of college, the experience is relevant or complimentary to the role you’re applying for, brings added value to your overall knowledge base or it’s the only work history you have, LEVERAGE IT!
Next, is technology and trust me, we are moving right along. By this point, your resume is really beginning to take shape. This section will include computer skills, database knowledge and all over IT. It is no surprise these skills are a hot point, and most industries have specific databases or technical skills that reign over others. If you possess this knowledge coming into a new role, you’re a more well-versed candidate, can hit the ground running and will require less training ($$). Now, what about Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc? These can be listed as Microsoft Office to include, but not waste space on what may be expected as a standard (depending on role).
A special section titled ‘Relevant Experience’ or ‘Additional Information’ can be utilized to include details that just did not seem effective in other locations. Don’t let it fall off the page if it’s truly important. As an example, I recently worked on a pharmaceutical sales industry resume for a client who also carried EMS industry, so it was added to his ‘Relevant Experience’ to highlight a well-rounded medical background.
Have you recently completed any volunteer and philanthropic work? Listing it is important and this is the final piece! Don’t hold back displaying how seasoned you are. Also, this is another building block to show the recruiter or employer your expansive knowledge base and humanity.
Last, but certainly not least, is the length conversation. Resume length is highly debated, but most companies expect one to two pages for a couple reasons. The first is simply the reader’s attention will span. Second, it is believed the experience and impacts you’ve had over the years should be compact and concise enough for this length. Some specific trades and skilled positions require much longer descriptions of the role and your background. The easy answer is to do research regarding expectations for your industry. Be prepared with the proper resources to make the most impressive impact!
Utilize this inclusive resume guide to break down each section of your resume to allow for a seamless build. Try not to get lost in the confusion of how to put it all together. Approach is step by step and keep it simple. Please reach out to me with questions or for assistance!
Rebecca Wagner - I actively find flow through unparalleled focus on propelling the careers of others. These posts will help to share my thought processes about development, self-awareness and growth.