22 Apr 10 Resume Tips for Job Seekers
The average hiring manager spends about 10 seconds reading a résumé. That means you have just a few seconds to show your past experience, your skillset, and why you’re the right fit for the job.
However, creating—or even updating—a résumé can be a daunting task for many job seekers. With so many different template options, and conflicting advice on what experience to include/eliminate, candidates often waste more time researching how to create “the perfect résumé” rather than actually developing one.
Here are 10 simple resume tips that will help you create a “successful” résumé
- Avoid the fancy layout, font, and other special effects. Stick to traditional font of Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size, and black type against a white paper. You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for, or even your title. The key here is to be consistent. Go easy on boldface type, italics, and underlining.
- Prepare it in a simple Word format that can easily be viewed on most computers. Avoid any table formats or templates.
- Use a reverse chronological order. List your present, or most recent job, first, and then work backwards. State the complete name of the company you work for, or have worked for, how long you were there–month and year. Then list the position you held and your accomplishments. You don’t have to use full sentences, you can start your sentences with verbs. “Managed company tax reporting, finance, invoicing, and purchasing,” for example. Your most current experience should have the most detail, the oldest experience should have the least. If you are updating an old resume, don’t just pull forward the older experience. Trim down that experience to make room for the most recent experience.
- Get rid of any objectives and summaries. That’s considered fluff. An employer doesn’t care about your objective. They want to accomplish their own.
- Skip any personal information such as “married with three kids.” It may sound stable to you, but to a hiring authority looking for someone to travel, it may keep you from being interviewed.
- If you’ve worked at big names like IBM, Deloitte, Boeing Corp, etc., explain the specific division you worked in. They are large companies, so just because you’re familiar with the division, doesn’t mean they are.
- Stories sell. Numbers, statistics, percentages get attention. If you put in bold type, “Increased profit by 28%,” or “Came under budget by 30%,” that shows your worth.
- Avoid any fuzzy key words and phrases. These include “customer-oriented,” “detail oriented,” “excellent communications skills,” and “creative.” These words are overused and lack meaning. Show your creativity by using different words.
- Don’t include any photos on your résumé. You are looking for a job, not a date. (If they really want to see what you look like, they can run a search on LinkedIn.)
- Be honest. If you over exaggerate your experience, the company will find out eventually—whether it’s through your references, or your performance.