I recently viewed a video by Kimberly Bishop, a nationally recognized job search expert. In it, Bishop provides her top resume tips, offering valuable insight from the recruiter’s side of the table.
According to Bishop, these are the major areas to consider when crafting your resume or having it professionally written. I’ve added comments with my thoughts.
Your Resume Should Tell a Story
Years ago, a resume simply listed your work and academic history. With a robust job market, it was enough to secure an interview. That’s not true anymore. Successful candidates tell a story of how they’ve progressed through the company ranks, helping it to succeed. A candidate does that by listing increased responsibilities, promotions and accomplishments. You need to paint yourself as the perfect candidate for the position or you won’t be invited to interview.
Your Resume Needs to Articulate Your Job Responsibilities & Accomplishments
Being cryptic on a resume won’t win you points. If you’re an administrative assistant and write “file, answer phones, work on projects”, the hiring manager or recruiter will pass you by. You need to show the results of your efforts (accomplishments). You also need to detail important responsibilities and tasks to convey the importance of your work.
Avoid Sending Out Very Different Versions of Your Resume
If you’re applying to various positions at the same company, it will appear odd if one of your resumes paints you as a top HR professional, while another states you’re an expert in Information Technology. Those in charge may well wonder “which is it?”. You may have been both. Therefore, it’s important to show your varying roles within the resume, while showcasing the one that applies to the position being sought.
Don’t Make the Hiring Manager or Recruiter Guess Where You Did or Accomplished Something
Here, we’re talking about a functional resume. In it, the job seeker will have a section titled “Accomplishments” or duties listed under specific skills such as “Accounting”, “Finance”, “Human Resources”. Following that is a section titled Professional Experience with only the company name, address, dates of employment and the candidate’s title listed. A functional resume forces the hiring manager or recruiter to guess where each task/achievement took place. Most won’t bother. They’ll move on to the next candidate. Never use a functional resume. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t like them.
Writing ‘References Available Upon Request’
That’s assumed. Don’t use it. If you’re asked to interview, you’ll be filling out a job application and will be listing your references there. Also, never provide references until you’re asked to fill out a job app.
Should You List Your Interests & Hobbies?
Unless they pertain directly to your current job or the position you seek, the answer is ‘no’. Recruiters and hiring managers are concerned with what you’re doing on company time, not on your own. What’s more, a questionable hobby may make them think twice about hiring you. For example, if you’re into extreme sports, they may wonder if you’ll be injured, unavailable for work for extended periods and will ultimately cause their medical insurance rates to skyrocket.
A resume needs to be crafted carefully so it promotes your candidacy. By following this advice, you’ll avoid the major errors most candidates make.
The certified writers at ResumeEdge have decades of experience in crafting achievement-based resumes for 40+ industries. We specialize in resume writing, resume editing, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.