[or more] as long as the content of the resume matches what I’m looking for. Or should you put your education at the beginning or end? My short answer is if the education is relevant or required, it goes at the top; if it’s not relevant or required for that specific job posting, it goes behind the more relevant information.

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Published On: Mon, Mar 7th, 2011

10 Resume Tips That Actually Make Sense

Resume advice and tips that make senseIt seems like whenever I interview candidates and make suggestions as far as their resume, they either say “no one ever told me” or “someone told me differently.” Like limiting your resume to only one page. I don’t care if it’s one page or three pages [or more] as long as the content of the resume matches what I’m looking for. Or should you put your education at the beginning or end? My short answer is if the education is relevant or required, it goes at the top; if it’s not relevant or required for that specific job posting, it goes behind the more relevant information.

I’m sure you’ll talk to people who’ll disagree and swear by the one-page resume “because no one wants to read all that information.” My common sense approach says the person reading it isn’t concerned about how long as much as how qualified. If I was asked to shorten my resume to one page [it’s just under three pages] potential employers won’t get to see just how qualified I am at sales and recruiting because nearly two pages of relevant qualifications and past work experience will be deleted. Why would I want to be compared to other candidates after chopping off two pages of information that make me more qualified?

There is no law on how a resume should be written. Every now and again I’ll do a search for websites giving resume advice. It’s usually regurgitated information from the wrong source. Realistically, what one recruiter may like to see is going to be different from what another recruiter likes to see. But at the end of the day, all recruiters all want to see relevant information.

I cannot reiterate enough that your resume is not about you. It’s about them, the company doing the hiring because they have a need. No recruiter looks at a resume and asks how to help that person. Recruiters look at resumes and ask how much money can we make off that resume, if we can make any money at all. Companies hire people because they feel the person can help them, not because the company wants to help the person make some money, give them vacation pay and benefits. It’s not about you.

So quit writing about what you think is so important. Write what is important to the company, and the company tells you in job postings what’s important to them.

There is this one website that I just found with 10 tips. And I actually agree with all 10 tips

Use Titles or Headings That Match The Jobs You Want

For those who didn’t know, using CareerBuilder, Monster or any job board searching for resumes is just like Google. It’s based on keyword searches. For instance, if I’m looking for a “program coordinator” to manage the recruiting of volunteers for a project, and at your job you do something very similar, but it’s called “manpower specialist” — I’ll probably never find your resume. If you want a job as a database manager and nowhere on your resume is the word database, you’ll never be found. If you’re an expert on Excel and I need an Excel expert, but all you put is that you’re an expert at all Microsoft Office programs, I may never find your resume if the word Excel is not on your resume. Think Google!

Use Design That Grabs Attention

When they say design, they’re not talking about clip art and fancy color schemes. They mean put the most relevant stuff at the top [sound familiar?] or in the most noticeable spots on your resume. In other words, design it so what you want to be seen gets seen.

Create Content That Sells

Content that sells is content that has no gray area. Saying you have strong customer service skills is gray. I have no idea what your definition of strong customer service skills is. Are you a critical thinker? How critical is critical to you? I remember a candidate once put that she handled a high volume of inbound phone calls and handled it well. I sent her to a client looking for someone who could handle high volumes of inbound phone calls. The client asked to have the candidate replaced because the candidate couldn’t handle the 150 or so calls a day.

I asked the candidate about her previous job where she put that she handled a high volume of inbound phone calls. She said she received around 30 to 40 a day. Obviously, her definition of high volume was based on her experiences.

Another simple example: When it was just 60 degrees in February, everyone was saying it was warm outside; if it was August and 60 degrees, people will be saying it’s freezing cold outside. See, 60 degrees is 60 degrees, but whether it’s warm or cold is based on prospective. Same goes for resumes.

Quantify and Use Power Words

What’s the difference between someone who “handles accounts” and someone else who “handles over 400 accounts ranging from $1 million to $100 million contracts on a weekly basis, managing contact information using ACT, a customer relations management software”?

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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