En Route: A Career Blog

How do you want your resume to read?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY:
POSTED: December 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

If you truly don’t know or if you have a long list of preferences, either answer isn’t what will get you an invitation to interview.

One of the hardest concepts for job seekers to understand is that resumes aren’t  geared towards their preferences. Rather, it’s the hiring manager or recruiter you’re trying to impress.

Which means that first you need to know what makes a great resume:

1. A strong opening summary that paints you as the ideal candidate for the position. It should be rich with keywords and contain one, preferably two, recent/relevant/quantified accomplishments. No objectives, please. Objectives are telling the hiring authority what you want. They don’t care about that. They want to know what you can do for their company.

2. Showcased accomplishments. Not a repetition of what you have in the opening summary but more in depth results of your work. The best place to highlight them is below the opening summary in their own section. Don’t bury them within tasks in the professional experience section. And remember to quantify your results with dollar figures and time periods.

3. Professional experience that focuses on results not simply tasks. Hiring managers and recruiters want to know if the action you took made the company money or saved it money.

4. Post high school education or training. If you don’t have a college degree, be certain to include any relevant job related training.

What a resume shouldn’t necessarily include is your preferences, such as:

1. Template choice: If you’ve chosen a template because you like its flair consider what a hiring manager might think. Is the template more for a creative when you’re in a conservative industry? Is the font hard to read? Does it take up too much space on the page making the resume unnecessarily long? All good points to consider. Remember, it’s not your opinion that matters here. It’s what the hiring authority thinks.

2. Is your resume too long? Although you’re proud of your lengthy list of projects, if they have nothing to do with the job you’re targeting, you’re wasting the hiring authority’s time.

3. Are you including information that has nothing to do with the job search? You may want to boast about awards you received in college; however, if you’re at a professional level your work history should speak for itself.

4. Have you put hobbies, interests and the like on your resume? If so, take them off unless they add to your professional expertise. Stating that you like extreme sports may cause a hiring manager to pause and reconsider whether you’re too much of a risk taker for the position.

When you keep in mind that your resume is written for an audience other than you, you’ll be able to hit on the points hiring managers and recruiters most want to see.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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