For this post, I decided to consult two of my favorite resume writers (Jill Grindle and Jeanne Knight) for advice on what is important to include in a resume in today’s job market. I have included their tips and websites below.
In addition to their comments, I’ll chime in with a Tip that relates to branding.
RANDI’S TIP: Be sure to include your Personal Brand in the top third of your resume, which is the most important piece of real estate on this document. This is especially true given that many resumes are being read on smart phones. Your Personal Brand is what makes you unique and compelling and differentiates you from every other candidate applying for the job.
You want to avoid overused expressions such as “Accomplished team player” or “motivated team player”. Honestly, how does that differentiate you from anyone else applying for the same job? Think CHEMISTRY-focus on WHO you are and HOW you do your work, what you are passionate about, your leadership style etc. Think IMPACT by quantifying the value you bring to an employer.
Resume Tips from Jeanne Knight, Career and Job Search Coach:
1) It is imperative that you, the candidate, are 100% clear on the job you want to do next. Being unclear, or open to too many possibilities, will result in a resume that is too general and too “all-over-the-place,” and won’t present you as a candidate with enough depth in any one area to be fully qualified for any particular job.
2) Once you are 100% clear on the job you want next, make sure your resume is targeted specifically to that job. Include only responsibilities and accomplishments that support your career goal and leave all extraneous information out. Remember, a resume is a tightly written marketing document… a sales tool… not a career biography. Treat it as such and you will be more successful in your job search.
3) You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating… Make sure your resume includes specific contributions you have made to your employers, not just a bulleted listing of what you were responsible for. Companies and HR departments have their own job descriptions, so they know the responsibilities inherent in most jobs. What they want to know is, what did you actually DO? What did you contribute? What were your accomplishments? What are you most proud of that contributed significantly to a company’s success?
4) No, a resume does not have to be one page. That was a “rule” that no longer applies in today’s world. Your resume should be whatever length is necessary to paint a compelling picture of your greatest skills and accomplishments, as it relates to the job you want to do next. If it all fits on one page, fine. But if it takes 2, or even 3 pages, then take the space you need. Just be sure you have included ONLY the information that supports your next career goal.
5) Truly, review your resume again and again (and again!) for spelling, grammar and formatting errors. Every single resume I read from a client has some form of error on it… A period where a period doesn’t belong; a word that’s been capitalized that shouldn’t be; a run-on sentence that needed to be broken into two sentences, or at least separated into appropriate sections by semi-colons; and different fonts and font sizes in headings and other sections of the resume when the same font and font size should have been used. Improper grammar, misspelled words, outdated formatting and style, etc., can be the kiss of death for a resume, especially for someone at the senior level of an organization. Remember, your resume is the first impression a company has of you… Make sure it’s an impression that causes a company to want to talk with you!
Jeanne Knight, Career and Job Search Coach; website: www.careerdesigns.biz
Resume and Social Media Tips from Jill Grindle, Resume Write:
Tip 1 – Make your resume as targeted as possible to each position you are pursuing; the more focused it is, the greater the chance of success you have.
Tip 2 – Keep your resume as succinct as possible while keeping your achievements and strengths prominent. With the use of PDAs, it is critical to keep resumes to two-pages or less. If you need to communicate more about your value proposition, consider using a one-page leadership addendum in addition to your resume.
Tip 3 – Leverage the power of the Internet and make sure you have a distinctive and memorable digital footprint. Use all the resources possible to get your name out in front of recruiters and potential employers. This includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and perhaps a blog. (Please note if you do employ social media, it is critical to keep your content updated regularly; otherwise it can have a detrimental effect.)
Jill Grindle, CPRW