Being in the recruiting world, I get a lot of resume related questions. Is the formatting ok? Should I add more information? What could make me more competitive? With all these questions floating around, I thought it could be helpful to put together a little resume revamp blog post!
At the highest level…your resume is a place to showcase your achievements, highlights, and how you are a value add to your current team as well as previous teams you were a part of. Your resume should succinctly articulate processes you improved, how the implementation positively impacted productivity, and showcase any special recognition or promotions you received. Highlight the work you’ve done and your professional accomplishments – make it so easy for recruiters to see how amazing you are so you get that phone call!
On to a few nitty gritty tips….
- No need for a summary/objective statement: My general rule is that unless you are applying for a specific role where you think this would specifically highlight experience that is not listed elsewhere on your resume, these are entirely unnecessary. Objectives are usually general statements in space you could otherwise use to better articulate your experience. If something is general or repetitive, scrap it. Use your space wisely.
- Keep it to one page or as succinct as possible: Unless you are farther along in your professional experience, keep it to one page. If you are someone focusing on a more creative field, showcase your InDesign skills! No need to go over the top. Sleek, simple, and easy to navigate are key things to keep in mind in regards to formatting. There is a great Bloomberg article that is a helpful guide to fonts so you can get away from Times New Roman, look a little sharper, and ultimately increase your paper appeal.
- Showcase career progression within one company: The meat of your resume should be discussing your experience. This should be broken down into the companies you worked for, and if you had multiple roles at one company, break them down beneath the company line. Here’s an example from my resume prior to coming to Clarity:
- Get specific when listing responsibilities: When discussing your responsibilities you want to address things like; what teams you partner with specifically, how many people report to you directly, meetings you participate in or lead on a weekly, monthly quarterly basis, your contributions to meetings or calls, processes have you improved, how the improvements streamlined processes for you, or your team, and any special projects.
- List hard skills not soft skills: Another important piece to focus on is when listing your skills; focus on software programs, language fluency and other professional certifications. Listing soft skills such as ‘good communicator, self-starter, collaborative’ or ‘team player’ is space that could be better dedicated to spotlighting other experience or hard skills you possess.
- Don’t list references: Leave off references or a line that reads ‘references available upon request’. No recruiter or hiring manager will ever blindly call your references. Once you have made it to that stage in the interview process you will be asked to provide 2-3 professional contacts and to give them the heads up someone will be reaching out. The same goes for attaching letters of recommendation. If you want glowing reviews of your work to be easily accessible, ask your referrals to write one for your LinkedIn profile!
Resumes can be tricky, and are a constant work in progress, but if you approach the writing process with the mindset of emphasizing your professional strengths and abilities that make you the best candidate, you can’t go wrong. No one can tell your story better than you, so put your best self forward and get writing!