Everyone should have an updated resume when they are in the market for a new position, and making sure you have everything organized the right way can be tough. According to TheLadders, recruiters only take six seconds to scan a resume to determine whether or not a candidate might be a fit for their organization or client’s organization. Here are a few tips to help organize your resume from the mind of a recruiter.
- Your Contact Information
This may seem obvious, but you want to make sure you include all necessary information for someone to get ahold of you and, if appropriate, view your portfolio of work. This means adding links to your LinkedIn profile, links to where your portfolio of work can be found, Twitter or other appropriate social media sites used in a professional manner and, of course, your email address and phone number. It is best to list these in order of the best way to reach you progressing to any examples of work that are relevant to the position for which you applied.
- Dates of Employment
When it comes to your work experience, you want to always have the most recent experience at the top. At a minimum, you need to include your job title and the dates you were employed. Consistent formatting for each position is crucial for readability. If there are gaps in your work experience, this may be a concern. Just make sure to be open about them or it may seem like you have something to hide. That’s the last thing you want a potential employer thinking.
- Skills at the Top & Education at the Bottom
Often times people are proud of their degree or where they went to school, which is great! But, it isn’t relevant to have that front and center on your resume unless you just graduated. After your first job out of school, skills and experiences trump education in terms of importance on your resume. It is best to have the skills listed at the top in a table/column format for easy readability. In some cases, if done properly, skills (i.e. Account Management, Google Adwords, Negotiation, etc.) can be bolded to draw attention of the reader and described in bullet format as you detail your key responsibilities. This way a hiring manager can quickly identify if you have what they are seeking in a role. Recruiters don’t always know the roles inside and out so they are looking for those specific keywords. Remember, only list the skills relevant to the job to which you are applying and make sure those skills are supported throughout the resume.
- Condensed but Still Specific!
There is nothing worse than opening someone’s resume and seeing it is three plus pages long. It is best to keep your resume to two pages (or one page if you are early on in your career). If you need to adjust the formatting, make sure your fond size isn’t lower than a 10pt to 11pt font, depending on the font itself. You don’t want anyone to have a tough time reading your resume. You also want to make sure you’re giving enough details about what you did while in each position. Don’t try to condense it too much and take out important information about what you did in each role.
- Make it Your Own
Feel free to make your resume standout from the rest. For the most common positions, hiring managers may look through dozens of resumes at a time. Use color sparingly, bold specific words (think of your resume as an RFP to the job description), add a header, use consistent formatting throughout and add a cover letter. A clean, well-written and organized resume with a few unique touches and a cover letter is sure to catch the eye of the recruiter!
** Designers and those in the creative space, have the freedom to take more liberties here to demonstrating their abilities.
These tips can help your resume stand out in the stack. By making sure you do these 5 things, who knows, you might just get a call!
Mark Whitman is the founder and CEO of TeamBuilder Search, a dynamic recruiting firm that specializes in digital marketing, digital transformation, and emerging technology. He is an energetic and fearless adventurer who loves working with other innovative, entrepreneurial-minded professionals. He also happens to be a Sport Jujitsu national champion who literally broke his face in competing for the gold medal in the world championship. To discuss your toughest hiring challenges with Mark, contact him here.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.