“Keep it simple.” The concept seems, well, “simple”. But this quote got me thinking about how complicated resumes have gotten. I can’t tell you how many times I am looking at a resume and have gotten dizzy from the amount of text that’s crammed onto a few pages. So what is it all about? How can you, as a candidate, inform us, the recruiter, about what your strengths are without writing a novel?
For starters, take a look at your resume. If you are going to write an objective statement, please make it clear exactly what your objective is. If you want a position in, say, mechanical engineering, please don’t write “engineering.” Remember that those who are reading your resume do not know you personally be specific to the job.
Make sure that you are clearly listing the company, position, and date of each job under your previous employment section. Months are appreciated, but not necessary. Make sure that this heading stands out, and that all of the information underneath is in an easy to read bulleted format.
Job functions and explanations of your strengths are great, but keep them short and concise. You may have great experience from your last position, but your skills aren’t going to be highlighted if you have five paragraphs about what you did. List your relevant skills in one bullet, the technology you used (if applicable) in another, and a brief (and I emphasize brief) explanation of what your position entailed.
(This one may be more of a personal preference) It is always nice to have hobbies outside of your schooling and work. However, if they are not relevant to the job that you are applying for, please leave it off your resume. Yes, I am glad that you enjoy square dancing and the flute, but it does not make you a better software programmer, unless you are programming software for square dancing or flute playing.
Finally, make sure that you are highlighting what you think are your best skills. If you are looking for a PR job, make sure that your resume reflects your past PR experience! We want to know what you are interested in, so that we can ultimately place you in a position that fits your skills, but more importantly that you are happy in.
Resumes are often the first impression that you give an employer, especially with the internet so prevalent in recruiting. Make them count! Be brief, but sufficient in your explanations. Your experience and strengths placed on a well put-together “simple” resume, will help you stand out and get the interview!
If you’re looking for a new job opportunity, send your resume to Sarah Olivet at firstname.lastname@example.org.