Your resume is your primary marketing document, and it also serves as a mini version of you when you’re not in the room. On Tuesday, we looked at some resume rules to get you started. Today, here are some more advanced tips:
- Make sure that contact info is correct. At a minimum, you’ll want a city, st
- ate, ZIP code, phone number, and email address. (Some applicant tracking systems will discard resumes with no piece of physical address, on the assumption that you’re not a real person.) For bonus points, add your LinkedIn profile (be sure personalize it to eliminate that random string of numbers after your name) or a link to your online portfolio. For extra bonus points, update your email address from Hotmail or Yahoo to something like a Gmail account to avoid looking like you’re stuck in the ‘90s.
- Focus on the what In other words, put your degree name and job titles in boldface, not where you worked, when you worked there, the school you went to, etc.
- Really emphasize accomplishments. Yes, you attended staff meetings as required—it was required, after all. Think about why a potential new employer would care and what sets you apart.
- Explain anything generic or not widely known. If you’re an expert on an obscure piece of software, what does it do? If you know you’re a great communicator, how can you briefly demonstrate that in the resume? (Example: Excellent written communication skills, as shown through 32% increase in newsletter readership since I took it over)
- Organize it in order of importance, as you define importance. If your chronology doesn’t demonstrate why you’re a good fit, lead with a section called “relevant experience” or some such. Start the whole thing with a really good skills or summary section. Hit ‘em over the head with the reasons you’re the best for the job.
- PROOFREAD! Over and over and over. Run it by your friends and family. Read it once, set it aside and take a walk, and then read it again. I once refused to interview someone whose resume talked about the panels on which he had severed and I stand by that decision.