PERKINS PROFESSIONAL SEARCH BLOG
Building the Perfect Resume - February 18,20141 Comment
Your resume is a tool with a specific purpose: to get an interview. A great resume will not only tell the reader what you have done but it convinces the employer you have what it takes to be successful in the position. To write an effective resume it needs to be consistent, concise, clear and easy to read. If it’s not, your resume and cover letter will not get a second glance from any hiring manager. Here are a few tips that Perkins Professional Search (PPS) suggests you follow to help you until you contact us. PPS can provide coaching on writing the perfect resume that showcases your individual skills and effectively markets you to prospective employers.
Tailor each resume
A resume is not a radio broadcast. It’s not meant to send the same message out to everyone, everywhere. It is a targeted, specific form of communication. This means that each resume must be tailored and speak to each specific employer. Before you start writing, research your prospective employer. Visit their website and find out their values and what they are all about. Use language which reflects these values. Be sure to reference specifics from the job post. The people who best know this language are often recruitment professionals who have placed people with this employer in the past. Their knowledge of your audience can be invaluable when tailoring your resume.
Place your name and contact info at the top.
This might sound like an obvious and simple tip but it is an important one. Your name and contact info should be the first thing the hiring manager reads. Put your name in bold face or in all caps. Be sure to include your address, phone number and email address but do not bold or cap these. This ensures all of your important contact information is easily found and remembered.
Include an objective
It is often debated whether or not to include an objective, but as stated earlier, it is in your best interest to tailor your resume to speak to each specific employer. A good objective should be 3-4 sentences explaining who you are and what you are looking for.
Use white space
Make your resume pleasing to the eye. Do not include so much information that it becomes distracting and hard to read. Space your content out accordingly and break the page up using bullets, italics and bold type. A cluttered resume can be exhausting to read and most likely won’t be read.
Present your resume in reverse chronological order
A reverse chronological resume is the format most often used as it shows your employment history with dates. A hiring manager will review your history and will want to see that your experience is recent and relevant. Often times using a functional resume that does not show dates can cause the hiring manger to wonder if there are employment gaps or if the experience is recent. This can hinder your chances of getting an interview.
Only include relevant information
Your resume should be a summary of the most important information. Do not include every job you’ve ever had. Listing too many jobs, making your resume too long and cumbersome, can lower your chances of being recognized by a potential new employer. If you have minimal work experience it is best to highlight the relevant skills that are transferable to the position and leave the rest out.
Under your experience, list your responsibilities and accomplishments in 4-6 bullet points. In today’s fast paced world, hiring managers simply do not have the time to read full sentences.
Quantify your accomplishments
You should always try to put a number to your accomplishments. For instance, “managing a department of 6″ is very different than “managed a department of 26″ or “managed a department” Were there budget responsibilities? How many clients did you work with? Placing a number to accomplishments you are highlighting your value and depth of experience to the prospective employer.
Your education information is critical. It needs to be accurate and specific. Include only relevant information: the name of your university or college, your degree/designations, the year you graduated; any awards or accolades you received; and be sure your dates are correct. Do not include your high school information and activities as often it is not relevant unless you have no education beyond high school.
Do not list your hobbies. Your extracurricular activities are irrelevant to a hiring manager. This doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what type of person you are, it means that at this stage in the process they are only interested in what skills you can bring to the company. Questions about your life may come up in an interview and you can talk about your hobbies then.
Unless the company has specifically asked for your references, do not include them. If a hiring manager is interested, they will ask you for them. Including more information only makes your resume longer and risks becoming cluttered. Including extras such as a letter of recommendation should also be left out unless asked for. You can present these items at an interview.
Get their attention
Even though you want to include all relevant information in your resume, the goal is to get an interview. You can elaborate and communicate your skills even more once you are face-to-face with the employer. It is a good idea not to reveal everything, just enough to get their attention.
Use a recruitment firm
Writing that perfect resume can seem overwhelming. Knowing what to include, or not to include, can make the difference at getting that interview. Hiring managers can receive hundreds of resumes for any given position and you want to ensure your resume stands out. Perkins Professional Search will provide a professional critique and offer recommendations to fine-tune our candidates’ resumes. Our input and suggestions increase our candidates chances of landing an interview with the perfect company.