A resume is an ink and paper representation of your career. During the job search, it can be the key to your next job. Like most things in the business world, it’s a good idea to stick with proven best practices. Below are several time-tested rules of resume writing.
Keep it simple and clean. Your resume should be built on your experience and accomplishments. It doesn’t need graphics, artwork, or “personality”. The structure and font that you choose matter. Keep it orderly and easy to read. Nothing should distract from the content.
Include all pertinent contact information. This includes your cell phone number, personal email address, and home address. Some younger candidates include social media handles. That can be helpful but isn’t necessary for the promotional product industry.
Tell the reader what you want. This is your objective. Your objective needs to be a strong, bold statement about 1-2 sentences long. Follow this with your summary. This should be 4-5 sentences and tell the reader what they can expect to get from you.
Focus on your accomplishments, not your duties. Don’t tell the reader what you did, tell them what you got done.
If you can’t quantify it, it doesn’t exist. In the world of resumes, numbers are king. Did you grow your sales? Great. How much? You managed a team of sales reps. Cool. How many? Put a number to everything!
Many employers and recruiters will load your resume into a database immediately. They’ll use this database to search for job candidates just like you and I use Google. Take advantage of this and make sure that your resume contains keywords that make sense for the positions you want to be considered for.
Your resume is not one size fits all. You need to customize, customize, customize! Customize it for each job and each company that you are applying for.
No matter what job you are applying for you have to highlight your qualifications for that specific position. Make it very obvious to the reader that you have everything they could want in an employee.
Resumes can quickly become stale and out of date. Set a recurring reminder to update your resume every 3 months.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, looks worse than grammatical or spelling errors in a resume. It shouts “Unprofessional!” Please proofread and have two others proofread it as well.
Promote yourself! Resumes are not for being humble or giving credit to others. Own your accomplishments and SELL THE READER! Provide all the evidence needed to convince even the most skeptical reader that you will be an immediate difference-maker for their business!