10 Tips to Keep Your Resume Off the ‘Resume Trash Pile’
By Marie Raperto, President, CIM Search
An open job equals many, many resumes. Every resume has the opportunity to land someone a job and every resume has the chance of being thrown away. With statistics showing that only 1 percent of resumes are effective, writing a well-crafted one is essential. You need to know the pitfalls and how to avoid them. The goal–to get your resume into the hands of a prospective employer.
Here are some tips to help you craft a strong resume:
- It’s an advertisement for you, not your autobiography. You want a particular job; your resume is your chance to call attention to you and what you’ve done. Some people believe resumes should be one page because they want to see a quick glimpse of you. While I don’t believe in one-page resumes, you must be careful to be specific, concise and to the point. You want the hiring manager to want to learn more about you.
- No gimmicks please. Gimmicks may get attention but they won’t make up for a sub-par resume.
- Formatting is important. It makes your resume easier to read/scan and it provides the reader with a roadmap to follow – all your titles, dates etc. will be in the same place. If you are submitting a resume online be careful of your margins. You don’t know how the computer scanner is set so leave at least a 1” margin all around. Since you don’t know the age or eyesight of the reader, use an easy to read typeface.
- Objectives are out, summaries are in. Unless you have a very specific objective and will only consider that type of job, use a career summary – a short concise pitch about you and what you have to offer.
- Update, Update, Update. Each job is a little different. Before you send out a resume update or tweak it for each job position
- Resumes are written in the third person and they are written in past tense. You may opt to put your current job in present tense but the rest is in past tense.
- A resume is a marketing tool. Use it that way. It’s the paper that shows what you have achieved to take you to the next step in your career.
- Don’t lie. Titles, dates, compensation, education are all very easy to check.
- Computers are often the first readers of resumes. They will scan for key words. It is important that you use the key words from an ad or job description in your resume. Otherwise, a human may never see your resume.
- References on request. This is a given. Don’t waste a line on your resume with it.
A well written resumes shows confidence and confidence is what employers look for. It’s no longer a one resume world. It’s a world that demands a well written resume for each job ad you answer.